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Sergey Zagraevsky


Åunuch of Sultan's harem

(deathbed confession of Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich,

recorded in Riga Abbey of Saint John in 1238 A.D.)



Published in Russian: Ñåðãåé Çàãðàåâñêèé. Åâíóõ ñóëòàíñêîãî ãàðåìà (ïðåäñìåðòíàÿ èñïîâåäü êíÿçÿ Ñâÿòîñëàâà Îëüãîâè÷à, çàïèñàííàÿ â ðèæñêîì àááàòñòâå ñâÿòîãî Èîàííà â 1238 ãîäó îò Ðîæäåñòâà Õðèñòîâà). Ì., 2014. ISBN 978-5-94282-713-7 




Annotation to the set of historical novels "Mysteries of Vienna library"


The historical novels of Professor, Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky are written on the basis of real chronicle, architectural and archaeological data, and are dedicated for a wide range of readers interested in history and architecture of Ancient Rus and Medieval Europe.

The plot of all novels of the set "Mysteries of Vienna library" are the documents, allegedly found the by author in this library and translated into Russian. Genres of the novels are different – from a detective to a romantic poem. All the novels of this set have a common storyline – unsuccessful attempts of Catholic Church to establish its power in Russia. But the actors and specific plots of the novels are not linked, and these books can be read in any order. In any case the reader gets the whole picture of life, politics, wars and architecture of Ancient Russia.



Annotation to the novel


The confession of the Russian Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich, dying in the city of Riga in 1238I, is found in Vienna library. In his youth he ruled in Rylsk, a small town of Novgorod-Seversky Principality. In 1185, he participated in the campaign, sung in "The Tale of Igor’s campaign", was captured by the Polovtsians, and had to start a new life, full of hardships and wanderings. In Palestine he was a witness of the conquest of Jerusalem by Sultan Salah ad-Din and of the Third Crusade, and in Vladimir-Suzdal Principality – stone building, intrigues of Templars, Lipitsa fratricidal battle and Batu’s invasion...

The historical novel of Professor, Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky is written on the basis of real chronicle, architectural and archaeological data and is dedicated for a wide range of readers interested in the history of Ancient Russia and the Crusades. The book contents the historical reconstruction of Russian campaign against the Polovtsians (including the famous "Igor’s campaign"), of the main battles of the Third Crusade, of Lipitsa battle, of a number of episodes of conquest of Russia by the Mongols. Great attention is paid to the organization of the temple building of that time.



The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program

and has not yet been edited.

So it can be used only for general introduction.



From filing of the Vienna library


The name of the unit storage: a message to Christian background of Flamberge, the Abbot of the Abbey of St. John in Riga, addressed to Riga Bishop Nicholas background to Nauen.

Document type: the message with the application.

Storage: XIII-23, acts of the XIII century.

The document number for the library's inventory: XIII-166-693/B.

The source and date of receipt of the document to the library: the diocesan archive of the city of Riga, 10 March 1705.

Dating document: may 29, 1238.

The volume of the document: the message of 3 sheets of parchment average quality app in 7 parts on the 379 pages of the same parchment.

The preservation of the document: good.

Application: deathbed confession of the Russian Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich, who died may 14, 1238 in Riga Abbey of St. John.




Abbot Christian background of Flamberge Riga Bishop Nicholas background to Nauen


His grace Nicholas background to Nauen, Bishop of the city of Riga and the surrounding area, from a Christian background The flamberge, by the grace of God Abbot of the Abbey of St. John in Riga.

It was written in the city of Riga in the twenty-ninth day of may 1238 from BC


Glory To Jesus Christ! Humbly Christians applaud Your Excellency!

Dare to bring to Your information that early in the morning of the fourteenth day of the month of may this year, the gatekeeper my Abbey had been found sitting near the gate a fat old man, clothed in crumpled and dirty, but rich clothing. The elder said to the porter, that is the Russian Prince Svyatoslav and asks to help him get to the nearest temple the Byzantine faith, as he was exhausted and could not go, watches his life considered, and he would not want to leave this world without a deathbed confession. Porter, faithful to the precepts of our Lord Jesus Christ, was going to callmonks, so they took or carried the dying man to the Church of St. Nicholas Of Myra on a farmstead of Russian merchants, but the Lord has umodel first to inform me that the gate sits a Russian Prince.

I thought that since we fought for the establishment in Russia of the Holy true Catholic faith and going to war and then, in the Prince's deathbed confession can contain useful for us information about this country. So I went outside and told the elder that the Byzantine Church is far away, but I'm ready to run your Christian duty to give him shelter in his Abbey and to invite for it a priest of his faith. The Prince, well spoke in Latin, with gratitude agreed.

I told them to carry him in the cell, put on a comfortable bed and feed. However, he was already so bad that food is refused, only asked for water. Meanwhile, I sent one of his monks to the Greek Nicephorus, priest of the Church of St. Nicholas, and asked to convey that I'm asking him to urgently come to my Abbey at the urgent business. Although Nicephorus and belongs to another faith, but we are have a good relationship, and I recently he even traded in the over brick, I have left from the construction of new cells. He just hadto finish the house of the clergy, and on the marketplace the brick would cost much more. Hope Your grace, You are a sin my good relations with Nicephorus, after all the Byzantine Church although not recognized procession of the Holy spirit from God the Son and the infallibility of his Holiness the Pope, but still has Apostolic continuity.

Nicephorus came soon, and I asked him to take a deathbed confession of the Russian Prince, listen carefully not to interrupt and not interrupt, as is often done by some of the Byzantine the priests. However, it must be confessed, and ours too. It seemed to me that cunning Greek had guessed my intention to hear the story of the old man, but pretended that he has not violate the secrecy of confession.

And in the next cell, where through the outlet heard every word, I put brother Stefan. Origin he is Russian, and could record what was said to the dying Prince. Confession quite long, so when brother Stefan was tired, I sent in the Abbey of St. Catherine for help. From there came the brother of Peter, too, knowing the Russian language, and in later he and his brother Stefan followed each other. Then I let go brothers sin is violation of the secrecy of confession, and also ask Your Eminence to let me this sin is as perfect for the sake of our Holy Church.

In the evening of the fourteenth day of may this year, Prince Svyatoslav, in baptism Boris, graduated from the confession, took the sacrament was performed over him lovadina, and he went to the Lord. He was buried in the Byzantine rite in the cemetery of Holy Nicholas. May the Lord have mercy on his soul.

As I predicted in his deathbed confession of the Russian Prince told a lot of important and interesting – e.g. death of a famous infidel Sultan Saladin, on the vicissitudes of the struggle for power in Russia, about the recent conquest of this ungodly country the pagan Mongols, on charitable missions noble lady Matilda von Immendorf, and many other things. So I told brother Stefan to translate this the confession in Latin, and humbly submit it to Your Excellency.

May the grace Of God with Your Eminence and all our brothers in Christ, may Your days will be full of success and joy, may God keep You blessed virgin Mary countless years. Amen.

Sincerely yours, soul devoted to Your Christians, the slave grace of God Christians background The flamberge.





Russian Prince Svyatoslav recorded in Riga Abbey of St. John

in the fourteenth day of may 1238 from BC


Translator's note. Russian original confession of Prince Svyatoslav could not be found: apparently, he stayed in Riga Abbey of St. John, and disappeared during numerous wars. In The Vienna library is only done in may 1238 translation Latin. Therefore, when "reverse translation" I didn't play the old Russian language, as it would only stylization, and turned his confession in modern Russian.

For clarity shows a map of the principalities of Ancient Rus.





Part I,

recorded Stefan, a monk of the Abbey of St. John in Riga


Hello, father Nicephorus. Thank you for coming. Do you speak Russian? That's good. I could confess in Greek, but I speak your language with errors and slowly. I'm afraid then the confession will take too long, and I will die before he could finish it. Watch my life is numbered, and I have to say much. Despite its gravest sins, hope for their Christian remission, as already punished for them, and in this life – the many disasters that fell to my share. And for that I all this? I do not know. Maybe it was payment for a happy and cloudlesschildhood? But childhood is a happy one in many, and not all people are so unhappy then? Yes, you're right, not for us to judge how happy or unhappy others.

But my childhood was really happy. I am not deceived: I am a Russian Prince. I was born in the city of Novgorod-Seversky seventy-one years ago, that is six hundred seventy fifth year (hereafter Prince Svyatoslav leads the date in the calendar "from the creation of the world", adopted in Russia, and in Byzantium. 6675 year on this chronology – 1167 from Christmas. Approx. transl.). At birth I was called Svyatoslav, was given the baptismal name Boris. But in Russia, the princes rarely name on baptismal names – I know what you Greeks think this is the remnants paganism. But we have to indulge and just respected people are treated with the addition of the name of the father, so that my name was Svyatoslav Olgovich. Yes, it is name. I say this not because already consider themselves dead, although it's almost so. But because the last half-century have been called by other names.

But I'll tell order, yet my head is light and I am unable to speak coherently. You're not hurry, father Nicephorus? No? Thank you for the fulfillment of the Christian debt.

My father, Oleg Svyatoslavich, vanailla in Novgorod-Seversky three years before I was born. He was about thirty years old when I was born, and I was his only son. And he was the eldest son of Prince Svyatoslav of Chernigov Olgovich.

In our family, father Nicephorus, this alternation of names and patronymic names from the grandson to the grandfather was considered a very honorary. Moreover, this alternation can be extended further, so as Oleg was the name of the father, Svyatoslav II of Kiev, and his grandfather Svyatoslav. And patronymic of this Svyatoslav Yaroslavich was. Have you been in Russia, father Nicephorus? Just passing through? And where is so well know Russian? Yeah, if you talked a lot with Russian merchants, not surprisingly. But even if you never been to Russia, probably heard about the great Prince of Kiev Yaroslav, nicknamed the Wise.Of course, could not hear. Under him Russia was one of the most powerful States in God's world.

So, I'm straight a descendant of Yaroslav the Wise. In General, our clan originates from the Varangian Rurik, which Kiev almost four centuries ago was invited to reign in Kiev, then the capital. As I sad to say about Kiev as "capital"! This the once-great city in my memory was in decline, Russia has ceased to be unified state and split into many almost independent principalities. To recently the strongest of them was Suzdal in the North-East of Russia. The capital of the Principality of Vladimir, but in the times of Yaroslav on the townfew have heard, and maybe it even wasn't there. About one of the Russian princes built this city, went to different crowds – whether Yaroslav's father Vladimir, called the Baptist, or grandson – Vladimir nicknamed the Monomaches in honor his grandfather, the Byzantine Emperor. But three months ago this beautiful city ruined godless heathens.

Yes, father Nicephorus, I have in view of the Mongols. Of course, you know about the troubles that had befallen Russia this winter. But I don't know how and why they fell, and who was to blame. From my confession you know it. I must be lucky that you are a Greek, not Russian. Russian priest, maybe, and would not let go my sins, hearing about how great my wine in front of the country, lying in ruins. But you would not really concerned about the troubles of Russia, so I have hope to die with the released sins.

Are you familiar with the city Chernihiv? Yes, the one where reigned my grandfather Svyatoslav Olgovich. During Yaroslav the Wise, it was the second city in Russia after Kiev. Chernigov is thriving now, if only it is not destroyed by the Mongols. (Destroyed, but later in 1239-1240 years. Approx. transl.).

Yaroslav died nearly two hundred years ago (in the year 1054 – approx. transl.) and he left a few sons, divided Rus among themselves. Started endless strife, which Chernigov went to the family of my great-grandfather Oleg and Svyatoslav, grandson of Yaroslav the Wise. Kiev is constantly passed from hand to hand, but most often it was ruled by the descendants of Vladimir Monomakh's cousin Oleg. So since then in Russia there were two main branches of the princes of the Monomakh and Olegovichy. At of justice, Kiev would have to belong to the ol'govichi as Oleg's father was older than the father of Vladimir. So the dislike of "usurpers" –The Monomakh – we, princes of Chernihiv land was, as they say, in the blood.

I not only belong to The ol'govichi, but my middle name is ol, which in our family is also very honorable. And the alternation of names and patronymic names "Sviatoslav II of Kiev – Oleg Svyatoslavich" I'm 've said. So I'm already by right of birth enjoyed great respect and perhaps, someday could become Grand Prince of Kiev. What? Ruled Kiev princes and of our kind. When Kiev was still strong, the great princes were and my ancestor Svyatoslav Yaroslavych, and Vsevolod, the eldest brother of my grandfather Svyatoslav II of Kiev, and Izyaslav Davidovich, a cousin of my grandfather. ThenKiev reigned cousin of my father Svyatoslav. But it was already difficult for Kyiv time.

My grandfather Svyatoslav Ol almost all his life was a Prince of Novgorod-Seversky – a city where then I was born. He waived his right to Kiev during the great civil war between the descendants of Vladimir Monomakh – a son Georgy Vladimirovich, called Dolgorukiy, and grandson Izyaslav Mstislavich. The ol'govichi would probably not participate in the war, but were drawn into it: then fought the whole of Russia, except The Principality of Polotsk, isolated before Yaroslav the Wise. And my grandfather was forced to maneuver between Dolgoruky and Izyaslav.

This war ended with the death of Izyaslav mstislavovitch (1154 – approx. transl).George Dolgoruky became Grand Prince of Kiev, but ruled long and died three years after Izyaslav. With the death of each of the great princes was in motion almost all of Russia, because the Prince has the right to distribute tables (thrones approx. transl.) in the principalities subject to him, although, of course, forced to account for seniority and kinship. When the Chernigov Prince Izyaslav Davidovich became Grand Duke after Dolgoruky, Chernigov vanailla my grandfather Svyatoslav Ol'govich, and the remaking of the tables have begun in Chernigov land.

No, father Nicephorus, clear hierarchy of the Russian principalities do not exist, small principalities were independent and non larger. In Chernigov land most significant Principality was always Novgorod-Seversky, even sometimes considered self. This Principality often called Seversk land. The largest cities and centers of unit – dependent Novgorod-Seversky principalities there was Kursk, Putivl, Rylsk and Trubchevsk. To the northeast from Seversk began Ryazan, then gravitated to Chernigov, to a powerful Northern neighbor– Suzdal. Yes, the same, where is the capital of Vladimir. This earth in my youth became known as the Vladimir Grand Duchy of – the name of the capital, but now call me old – fashioned- Suzdal land one of the oldest and largest cities. So, as it was called during Monomakh and Dolgoruky.

Before the death of Dolgoruky in Novgorod-Seversky Prince Svjatoslav Olgovich, and when he rose to Chernigov, gave the land of Seversk next on the ladder kind of the ol'govichi – Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich, son of his elder brother Vsevolod.

Ladder, father Nicephorus, is the hierarchy of the Russian princes, the relationship of seniority. Like a stairway. You have to Byzantium also probably have something similar, only according to this the ladder is not distributed ownership of the cities. In Russia the distributed. Now, the next the rest of the ol'govichi after Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich was my father Oleg Svyatoslavich, the eldest son of Svyatoslav Olgovich.

My father reigned first in Putivl (up 1159 – approx. transl.), then in Kursk. And when the seventy-second year (1164 – approx. transl.) Sviatoslav II of Kiev died Chernigov went to Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich, and my father Oleg began to reign in Novgorod-Seversky.

As far as I know to Seversky reign father was not easy, as it was claimed, and younger brother Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich of Yaroslav. These are eternal questions in the ladder: over – the eldest son of the younger brother or the second son of the elder brother? Junior son or eldest grandson? In such disputable cases, it is the age, and my father was older than Jaroslav. In the end, thank God there were no civil war and the tables were divided peacefully.

Yaroslav, however, generally no sustenance do not get it, he ruled in Chernigov together with his elder brother. Was wondering why: he could easily get Kursk or Putivl. As it turned out, it was the cunning of the brothers Vsevolodovich: Svyatoslav claimed to Kiev, and Yaroslav as if guarding a woman, this city the absence of Svyatoslav went to my father.

So Kursk also left behind my father Oleg. I have a weaker memory, father Nicephorus, and I can't remember if I said that the repartition of the tables after the death of my grandfather Svyatoslav Olgovich of Chernigov was calm, on the ladder, without strife. Yes, only what I was saying. See, already forgot. But I will try to focus and tell all to end. I want to be completely clean before the Lord, and if you deign to give me absolution, it must be justified. You must know all about me and my sinful, one might even say, low and shamefullife, ending on the merits of the death of a tramp abroad.

So don't I will be distracted and will continue. As you know, even if there was strife, all of each redistribution tables caused terrible confusion with the management of the principalities and collection of taxes. Can you imagine that every few years the princes moved from town to town with their families, nobles, officials and squads, and trying to get along in a new city, which is often not know? And it happened all over Russia. The only exception was a large and rich Suzdal Principality, where at that time reigned the son of George Dolgorukiy –Andrew, nicknamed Bogolyubsky. And Georgi, and Andrei portions not distributed, kept their brothers and sons in possession of or used as governors and governors, but not as independent rulers.

But let me tell you about myself still, this is my confession that I'm all about Russia? However, we, the princes, not separated yourself from a country that was, in fact, hold our extensive family of Rurik, no wonder we all called each other brothers regardless of age and relationship. And yet go to my childhood.

So, three years before my birth father was Novgorod-Seversky and moved there from Kursk with all approximate. In Kursk he left the Governor. When I was born, my father already settled into their new destiny, and the city was quiet.

My mother Svetozar, daughter of George Dolgorukiy, I have not been able to get pregnant, and I was born when she was already a lot of years, under thirty. And she died in childbirth. Soon his father married the second time, but Agatha, the daughter of the Smolensk Prince Rostislav Mstislavich, too not live long and died when I was a baby. I don't remember. So not drove my father's wives.

Then the father by a special resolution of the Kyiv Metropolitan entered into a third marriage, and his wife became The Agrippina, the daughter of Andrei Vladimirovich Good, younger brother Dolgoruky.

Agraphena not that very loved me, but treated me well and never hurt. Their she was not, father, I was an only child. So I was surrounded by all the attention, care and affection. And the father was only me. Generally speaking, an only child – a rarity for the Russian princes, usually in the princely families of five, seven, or more. George Dolgoruky, for example, was almost fourteen.

A happier time my life was not. Because I think that my tribulations have a bitter reckoning for the happiness that I experienced in childhood. Do you not think, father Nicephorus? Yes, of course, all in the hand of God, and God works in mysterious ways. You're probably right. And it was strange on his deathbed to argue with the priest.

I took vows in five years. Not one in which cut in the monks, and one in which future warrior for the first time put on a horse and cut his hair. You call this the rite is a relic of paganism, but it is not when I started and not when I'm the end (Russian the princes abolished this ritual only under Ivan Kalita – approx. transl.). When I took the tonsure, the horse was his father's, but after a couple of years when I learned nice to stay in the saddle, I was given the foal. It was a full-blooded the Arab horse, and called it ordenom in honour of the then ruler of Damascus. If I knew who will be my successor of the Emir! I think it's good that people do not know what awaits them in the future. And they probably would have gone crazy horror.

Handsome Nuradin was with me everywhere to the terrible end of my happy life young Russian Prince – and in Kursk and Rylsk and tragic campaign into the steppe with my uncle Igor Svyatoslavich. The white horse, with a dark mark on his forehead. Were strong quick, and so smart that it should not have been led to reason: if I had dismounted, he followed me like a faithful dog. I other princes even envied, this horse was. God, that was long ago.

My childhood was all the more happy that I almost never encountered a princely strife. Not to say in Chernigov land was complete peace of mind. For example, shortly after how Izyaslav Davidovich after the death of George Dolgoruky left Chernigov and vanailla in Kiev, my grandfather Svyatoslav ol'govich moved from Novgorod-Seversky in Chernihiv. Yes, I've said it before, but didn't say soon Izyaslav was knocked from Kiev Smolensk Prince Rostislav Mstislavich and demanded Chernigov ago. Svyatoslav did not yield, and began the strife, which was attended by myfather. But then I still was on the light.

A couple of years after my birth father took his squad to Kiev, the troops of Andrei Bogolyubsky participated in the looting of the city and returned with great booty. Now I understand the harmfulness of the capture of Kiev for peace and unity of the country, but then I was still a baby, and don't even remember universal rejoicing in Novgorod-Seversky and the triumphant return of the father home: me about it then told the Lord Kornily Ivanovich Ivanovich, my uncle-pestun.

First intestine war, I remember that happened when I was seven years old (1174 – approx. transl.). My uncle Svyatoslav then fought for With one of Kiev Monomakh, Yaroslav II of Kiev, and took the capital. As always happens in such cases, had a big redistribution of tables. My father waited for this process and decided to grab Chernigov. Come with all squad to town, but he was not let it turned out Svyatoslav prudently left there, brother Yaroslav.

Try to take Chernigov attack my father did not, though, I think, could: Svyatoslav squad went to Kiev, and Yaroslav certainly was not enough to resist the powerful Seversky army. But the father chose not to shed blood, and went back to his the city. Soon, Svyatoslav returned to Chernigov, embossed Kyiv another The monomakhovichi – Smolensk Prince Roman Rostislavich. After learning that his the absence of Chernigov came the team of Oleg Svyatoslavich, he was smitten malice, went with his army to Novgorod-Seversky and besieged the city.

I remember how ominously fires were burning soldiers Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich around our city, and as my father came out from the city gate to parley with his cousin. They seem to even discuss anything not immediately entered into the world, kissed the cross and went to their cities. So, parrot each other and all. Sly Svyatoslav decided to wait.

Imagine, father Nicephorus: such relations between the princes, who called each other brothers, was considered quite normal, and to lay siege to the city brother, to plunder his village or even fight him on the battlefield, nothing wrong was not. Of course, now I realize that the brotherhood of the Russian princes was no more than hypocrisy, and in fact any of them could be like that king of Judah, which killed six of his brothers. I do not remember, father Nicephorus, what was his name? It even Elijah the prophet denounced. Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat? Thank you. Before, I would say:"Remember", but now I was useless. How awful to know that your watch considered, and no longer have anything to remember.

Immediately after the departure Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich's troops, my father sent me to reign in Kursk. I was only seven years old, but it was important that I "sat on the lot": it added weight and him and me. And Kursk would be much more difficult for us with him away.

So this time I grew up in Kursk, a city standing on a hill at the confluence of the rivers Kura and Tuccari, not far from the Seven rivers (now the Sejm – approx. transl.). Fortress Kursk was powerful, with thick wooden walls on high waves, but the walls not renovated for a hundred years, dilapidated and rickety. The same thing happened with the princely Palace, built during the first Kursk Prince Iziaslav, son Vladimir Monomakh. But I was a kid, and I didn't care.

Kursk rules really of course not I, but the Lord Kornily Ivanovich Ivanovich, my uncle-pestun, but I gradually learning to manage the Duchy. Delved into the tax and legal cases, he tried to tell, although in the end only repeated what was said uncle. Studied reading and writing, he studied Greek and Latin, science, history, mathematics, – all as expected. And military business was mastered, and all the princes: learning to own sword, archery, commanding a squad. He loved to hunt, and just run on the steppe by Nuradin. Often went to Novgorod-Seversky to the father, and sometimes hecame to me in Kursk. It's not far, three or four day journey on horseback, and if hurry, you and two days away.

Teen dreams I saw himself as a Prince and Novgorod-Seversky, Chernigov, and Kiev. And, of course, dreamed of a beautiful woman, and just about women. Cute Amateur girls I winked, and one, I confess, seduced the young Prince and became the first woman in my life. But after that, I think, in my youth were all so grave a sin it is unlikely. Yes, father Nicephorus, I understand that it is the Lord to decide which sins are serious and which are not. But still not cursing himself for his youthful adventure, the libertine and the adulterer was never inunlike many other princes of my age, lost his head from permissiveness.

I was to be fulfilled fourteen... No, thirteen. It was the six hundred and eighty-eight (1180 – approx. transl.) – the first but not the last tragic year in my life. In the winter of that year, at the Baptism, went to the Lord my father Oleg Svyatoslavich. He was only a little over forty.

Then I still didn't understand. why this has happened. Now I understand. I think that you will understand, father Nicephorus, if I will briefly tell you the story. Although why you want to know why almost sixty years ago, in the distant Novgorod-Seversky died Prince Oleg? Really interesting? Well, then tell.

Another year over a four to my father's death, the Russian troops headed by Rurik and Davyd, Jr. brothers of the Kievan Grand Prince Roman Rostislavich, was defeated Polovtsy. You know, father Nicephorus, who are the sheep? Don't know how they are called in Greek, but I'll explain, and you will certainly understand who we are. Cumans is steppe nomads, pagans, constantly disturbing their raids South Rus, that is, the lands of Kiev, Pereyaslavl (now Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky – approx. transl.) and our Chernigov. Yes, it is disturbing. It is now unlikely bother: they say they are almost all killed by the Mongols. But before that, the Cumans were big and serious force, and fought with them all the southern Russian princes. However, these princes were sometimes invited Polovtsian allies during strife, and nasty was happy to come to Russia to pillage – like legally.

And now Rurik and David went in Polotsk and were defeated. The culprit lesion was considered Davyd, and Chernihiv Prince Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich demanded the Roman Rostislavich trial Junior brother. And threatened war. On the side of Svyatoslav stood the Kiev chamber – so Russia are called tips of eminent citizens.

Roman has done a decent act: did not want to give a brother to court and have preferred to leave Kiev and retiring in your Smolensk together with Davyd and Rurik. However, the Novel is still not there other choice: even if he betrayed his brothers, Svyatoslav surely found would some other occasion to present their demands.

The idea is that Svyatoslav Gromov would have gone to Kiev to give the Chernihiv next on the ladder Prince. But the following, as you remember, was my father, and Svyatoslav in any case could not allow the Chernigov Prince was Oleg Svyatoslavich, and wanted to see this place of his brother Yaroslav. And Svyatoslav pulling time inventing new reasons not to give Chernigov, Recalling that on negotiations with Smolensk princes, allegedly collected their troops, even something.

The army my father was ready to go to Chernigov. And here on the eve of the Epiphany he died. Going swimming in the hole, as we have in Russia is conducted for centuries, but never lived up to this day. And it turned out that in Novgorod-Seversky instead of celebrating Baptism mourned Prince Oleg: people loved him very much.

Why died Prince? Shortly before his death from Chernigov came boyar of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich and feasted with him. Three days later, the father fell ill and the whole went black, even saliva was black. At first, doctors thought he plague, and was afraid to approach his bedside. Now, after I went through all that passed, I understand that this death is healthy, strong, never ill man was not an accident. I didn't understand. And those who realized – remained silent.

However, I then was not the time to ponder over the reason for her father's death. at first I ran from Kursk to Novgorod-Seversky, to be in time for the funeral and the Wake, then went to Chernigov at the invitation of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, and then and in Kyiv – at the invitation of Svyatoslav.

By The Way, Roman Rostislavich died in the summer of that year, and also went black before his death, as my father. This also suggests some suspicions, right?

After the death of Novel Svyatoslav firmly vanailla in Kiev, and began the usual redistribution of tables. Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, of course, received Chernigov. In further he is always around to support his brother.

Next the ladder kind of the ol'govichi was the younger brother of my father, Igor. The man I consider to be the main culprit of my troubles and misfortunes. I confess, many times I cursed him and wished him to burn in hell forever. Yes, I know it a sin to desire another is evil, but I'm not a Saint, and my Christian forgiveness is not unlimited. Think, father Nicephorus that you heard my story, realize that I could not treat this man differently.

You asking why I have not taken his father's Novgorod-Seversky table? Yes, all because of the same ladder: the city was supposed to depart no direct heir to the defunct Prince Oleg, Prince, the next in seniority. This, of course, was Igor Svyatoslavich, and to challenge it was impossible, he was much older than me, years fifteen or sixteen, I always called him uncle.

The funeral service his older brother Oleg and Igor did not, but he soon was found in In Chernihiv, in the Palace of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, he hugged me and promised that will be now like a father to me. I admit, I broke down and cried on his chest.

While my father was alive, Igor Svyatoslavich, Prince of Putivl, the city is about the same size and significance, as Kursk, so we were equal. Igor had always been very quietly and modestly, with no one fighting, don't intervene. Becoming Novgorod-Seversky Prince, he did not change his habits: with all supported relatives a good relationship, never talked imperatively and hard unlike Yaroslav Svyatoslav of Chernigov and Kiev. Putivl is left for him, and he immediately put back on the reign of his son Vladimir, who was younger than me for five years.

Kursk I took and gave Vsevolod the younger son of Svyatoslav Olgovich, the next the ladder Prince after my father and Igor. This my uncle before reigned in the small town of Trubchevsk, and Trubchevsk also left behind him.

I gave in the reign quite a small town, less and Kursk and Trubchevsk, – Rylsk where previously was Prince Vladimir, son of Igor. No wonder I had to settle for Rylsky: uncle was older than me and got the "big city". And father, who could to protect me, was no longer alive.

And at the end the same year I entered Rylsk together with the boyars and retinue. However, the boyars were only a few people, and men hardly couple of hundred. My stepmother Agrippina preferred to stay in Novgorod-Seversky and soon became a nun, more I have not seen her.

Rylsk – the town, standing almost halfway between Kursk and Novgorod-Seversky, miles one hundred and twenty from this and from the other. I even then thought that Igor Svyatoslavich gave me exactly Rylsk, so I'm close to him and his younger brother Vsevolod, and they could be sure that I'm not doing any strife. However, I was not suggesting that, I wasn't so impatient and ambitious, like my late father, and always remembered and so are highly on the ladder and sooner or later will get more important of the city without any strife. In the meantime, me and Rylsk was enough.

And strangely, this town I loved. Now, dying in a distant land, I'm from the times his childhood and adolescence often remembered not Novgorod-Seversky and not Kursk, namely Rylsk. Maybe because I already rule itself: pestun Kornily Ivanovich Ivanovich though and stayed with me, but the case has ceased to influence directly.

Since the town was quiet and calm, I thank God, never had nor quell the uprising, nor to arrange a penalty. Just once or twice I according to the "Russian truth", the code of Yaroslav the Wise, was sentenced to death citizens who killed their wives. And then pardoned, because they sincerely repented and swore that it never will not happen again.

I also lucky that during my reign there was not one large city fire: for example, in those same years, Putivl burned twice, Novgorod-Seversky and Kursk – at once. The Lord has saved, you can say so.

And the place which stood Rylsk, it was very beautiful. Ancient walls, crowned with wooden walls were erected on the hill on the right Bank of the Seven, between flowing into it by rivers Snout and Dublyany. Now this hill is called the hill St. John Of Rila. Yes, father Nicephorus, the Bulgarian the monk-ascetic, who lived three hundred years ago. Wow, you've been in Rilsky the monastery? I've never been in Bulgaria, and Byzantium was the only time in Constantinople, and travel.

But my Rylsk, of course, was named not in honor of the Bulgarian monk, and he arose, probably sooner than John lived. Just a coincidence of names. And the city apparently received its name in honor of the river Snout, and even from where he got the name of the river – God knows. It was even said that some fairy-tale giant pig in ancient times dug the channel of the river with his snout, and laughed that this legend is quite worthy of the "Capitoline wolf", only in Russian way: not heroic Romulus and REM and pig's snout. Us, Russian, always rescued the ability to laugh ata. And I am even now a little easier when I remembered how in my youth amused me this legend.

Rylsky Prince's Palace was a wooden, one-story, and more like a big hut. Nearby stood wooden city temple of Saint Nicholas. To be honest, the town more like a large village, except that had strengthening – by the way, good Russian standards. Yes, it is for Russians: now I've seen the world and know that in Russia strengthening is similar to that of the ancient fortifications of the barbarians. Indeed sweep away from the shaft wooden walls with the help of a little bit of modern siege equipment is not is easy. Our shafts inside the fortified wooden huts, but the defenseit did not strengthen, as if the fortress walls are so weak, when siege to destroy the shafts themselves there is no need. And no wonder the Mongol Khan Batu was so easy to capture our cities. You said on his deathbed it is a sin to curse, but did not specify: this applies only to Orthodox and the infidel Mongols curse? Yes? Well, then be the Khan cursed forever centuries. Amen.

But Baty then it was still very, very far away. And I wonder, I mockingly respond about my little Rylsk. The same towns, only a little larger, and were Kursk and Putivl, and even Novgorod-Seversky. Life everywhere was quiet and measured, of course, if you don't count the wars, the invasions and intestine wars. In all towns were craft shops in the surrounding villages cultivated land, although far from fortifications to settle feared because of Polotsk. He raised bees, cattle, fished. Outside the city walls, previously housed a large trade Posada,but due to frequent Polovtsian raids they were empty: merchants preferred to stay inside the fortifications, even as early was located within cities.

Much stood out among our cities only Chernigov, the largest city in southern Russia after Kiev. Besides Kiev after the defeat of Andrei Bogolyubsky deteriorated and Chernigov as flourished and continued to prosper. Cumans before him reached, during the strife he never got hurt. In Kiev there has been no stone construction, and in Chernihiv these temples were erected always, and it is the main sign of wealth and glory of the city. Even in Novgorod-Seversky was not a a single stone of the Church was just going to build one in the Spassky monastery. Notknow built or not. In other Seversk cities even talk about the stone the construction was carried out.

But, when I rules in Rylsk and heard from the Byzantine merchants of the match of names, ordered to build the Church of venerable St. John of Rila. Of course, not stone, and wood, but for Rylsk and to this event. Then began our mountain also called in honour of the monk. Although this memory on my Affairs remained in this city. If it is not destroyed by the Mongols, there needs to still to reign my youngest son Mstislav. Bless him, Lord. (Rila Prince Mstislav of Chernigov was killed by the Mongols in 1240 – approx. transl.).

Merchants using my city swam a bit, although it was a convenient river trade route from the South To the North of Russia in the Ryazan and Suzdal: from the Dnieper to the Desna, then Seven, then Swap, then dragged in CMOS. But the majority of buyers prefer a longer but safer way up the Gum, not turning in Seven. The fact that poseme – the area around a Seven – scoured Cumans and often attacked merchants. Previously, when Yaroslav the Wise, Monomakh and Dolgoruky, the nomads were afraid to go so far into Russia, and in my memory veryinsolent. So we went to them almost every year. Than it is for me over, you will soon find out, if I die before. But the narrative, no matter how strangely, gives me strength, so I hope to finish his sorrowful confession to the end.

So I reigned in Rylsk, my uncle Igor was me "instead of the father" – so says the contract, which I received this city. Loved Igor me or not – I don't know. If not, then his dislike it does not show. And I acted with him with respect, he often went to him in Novgorod-Seversky to consult on the Affairs of their city, and have to admit, uncle helped me with his advice, he himself in my Affairs did not intervene. However, he or in whose cases did not intervene. He perfectly knew how – so it is with everyone to get along, find common ground and to win.

And with senior princes it came to outright podnikania. I remember when after my father's death Svyatoslav gathered all princes subject to him in Kiev and discussed to go or not to go to Smolensk, Rostislav patrimony of his rivals in the struggle for Kiev, Igor spoke like this: "my Father, Svyatoslav, war or silence in Russia – not important, and important for you to be healthy." (About like this sentence passed and the chroniclers – approx. transl.). This phrase is the whole Igor. I think it would be better with such a character, he was a Bishop, not a Prince. Beautiful Bishop would turn out. Yes, father Nicephorus, I understand that's not for me to judge the purpose of the Church hierarchy, and I'm sorry. But a good leader Igor certainly was not for that soon paid for many, including me.

Good the relationship I had with another uncle, Vsevolod, the youngest of three brothers of Svjatoslavich. He would often come to me in Rylsk, and I often went to him in Kursk, we met and Novgorod-Seversky Igor. He always interested in how I command a team, how to own a gun. My retainers respected him as a strong and experienced warrior, was called "wild bull" ("the Buoy tour" in "the Word about Igor's regiment" – approx. transl.) and obeyed unquestioningly. He was very reminded me of late father, as a brave warrior. It is strange that Igor was different. However, I heard that this is among brothers.

And the second year of the reign of Rylsk I got married. I was invited to himself in Novgorod-Seversky my uncle Igor and said enough of me to go out with street girls. Who is he told about my relationship with a Palace maid Kupava – I don't know, but he was able to say it so much that I did not take offence. We both laughed, and he offered me in bride Evdokia, the youngest daughter of the late Prince Gleb Rostislavich Of Ryazan. Five years before my conversation with Igor Gleb went to Vsevolod Georgievich, just vojnarovskaja in Vladimir, son of Dolgoruky,burned and looted several cities, but was defeated, along with his sons taken captured, taken to Vladimir and put in prison. Vsevolod Georgievich offered the princes of Ryazan freedom with the condition to abandon the Ryazan and go to South Russia, but Hleb has resisted, saying: "rather die than go." And soon died.

So Eudoxia G. was left an orphan, and Igor Svyatoslavich worried about its fate and considered that it will be for me a good wife. Indeed, the character she was excellent: we are in the few years that we spent together, never about what is not argued. Maybe I could wait and find a better bride from the point of view of the princely unions, but I was young, full of ideals of love, honor, and family, and not even the thought that in marriage you can search any benefit. It was better to regret the orphaned daughter of the Prince of Ryazan, which many, including I, believed hero.

Igor was rights and that I really had by that time an ongoing relationship with maid Kupava, and should, father Nicephorus, to repent. But I always knew, that marriage is another matter. And smart Kupava understood. If it were children, would be difficulty, and so all went properly and safely. She stayed in the Palace, and soon married one of my men. I gave her a a good dowry, and all praised my generosity.

My uncle Igor sent to Ryazan matchmakers and Eudoxia soon arrived in Rylsk. Remember me immediately liked her big green eyes and bright, beautiful and smooth tone, hair. How often then I remembered Evdokia, looking at the eyes and the hair of the woman! What? Matilda, father Nicephorus. Noble lady Matilda von Ammendorf. But if I start to talk about this German woman, will forget to tell much of what happened before you met her. But it is also important to my confession, I didn't want to get ahead. So dockage on Evdokia The Glebovna.

Eudocia was a couple of years older than me. Perhaps, stout: from the Palace maids I always preferred the more lean. But the big value for me and I quickly got used. Especially since, according to my uncle Vsevolod, the fullness of the bride – a sign of the health of future children. And really, then my sons were born large and healthy.

Wedding played, as expected. Came Igor and Vsevolod Svyatoslavich, and managed at the same time to reach Rylsk on both sides – from Novgorod-Seversky and Kursk. Accidentally they did it or they had agreed – I don't know but in my town this happened fun of him. The wedding was invited and Svyatoslav and Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, but they did not come, only sent gifts. Svyatoslav – beautiful armor, I then fought. Yaroslav – rich decorated saddle, which, however, proved to be extremely uncomfortable, and Isat only in the most solemn occasions. The campaigns of my Nuradin went under the old abraded seat, which gave me a father even during my Kursk reign.

Our Evdokia the wedding night was great, and exactly nine months later, in early six hundred ninety-one (1183 – approx. transl.), I have a son was born. Called him, according to family tradition, Oleg. How beautiful it is looks: he is Oleg Svyatoslavich, I – Sviatoslav II of Kiev, my father – Oleg Svyatoslavich, and so on, until Svyatoslav son of Yaroslav the Wise. Was be proud, because none of the Rurik such a succession of alternating names could not boast.

Now my son Oleg reign in Kursk. Fifteen years ago he became the Chernigov Prince, but after strife with Mikhail Vsevolodovich, the grandson of my great-uncle Sviatoslav was forced to leave Chernigov and return to the Kursk. He has two sons, and older, according to family tradition, his name is Svyatoslav Olgovich. Let God and my son and my grandchildren a long life. (The fate of these princes after 1228 in the Chronicles can not be traced. Probably, they all died when the Mongol invasion – approx. transl.).

And in the same the ninety-first year, I first took his squad to the campaign. Kornelu Ioannovich I am going on war, specifically asked to stay home under the pretext that he my absence should rule Rilsky. In fact, I just didn't want feel in the campaigns under his care, I completely missed the care of Vsevolod and Igor.

I don't know happiness or unhappiness, but all my campaigns were not for the Russian princes and the Polovtsy. Maybe fortunately, because God spared me from participating in the disastrous for the country strife. May, unfortunately, because to be captured by his was not as scary as to others. No matter how fierce feuds, but to sell co-religionists in the Muslim slave markets – it never reached. Could demand a ransom, could hold in prison, someone could even to pay in slaves – but at home, as we say, and straw Edom. In a foreign landprisoners captured in internecine wars, almost never sent.

But to my captivity, and all the subsequent misfortunes was still far away. However, not so far only two years. But if I could go back in time, I would appreciate every minute, how long these two years would be!

Yes, father Nicephorus, you're right that there is no need to talk about what will never be. Better I will continue my confession. I seem to be saying that our relationship with Cumans was complicated, as these nomads participated in princely strife at the invitation of a Prince? Yes, I did. So, a couple of years before my first campaign Svyatoslav, Igor and the Polovtsian khans Konchak and Kobyak fought with Smolensk by Rostislavich of Kiev. That is, Konchak at that time was our ally. In the near future itKhan also had a role to play in my sad fate.

And my first March on Polovtsy ended, we can say nothing. When the summer of ninety-one these nomads led by Konchak and some Khan attacked Russia, Svyatoslav and joined with him in Union Rurik Rostislavich sent against them of Igor Svyatoslavich and the young Prince Vladimir Glebovich – ruled in Pereyaslavl grandson of George Dolgorukiy. Vladimir in the campaign asked Igor I may go ahead with his regiment, but that he is banned. It would seem that what a change. But this stuff hurt Vladimir launched his regiment andgone, not in your town, robbing Siverskiy city.

So me and my team was immediately sent Igor home, Rylsk, to defend the city if attacked Vladimir Glebovich. Himself Igor with his brother Vsevolod was still a little forward towards the steppe, slightly intimidated Polovtsy, but was also forced to draw back to defend your lands from Vladimir. However, the grandson Dolgoruky on the city not attack: robbed of the village and went to his Pereyaslavl.

Such were the relations of the Russian princes. And the worst part is that it was all would like to order: next year, Vladimir Glebovich like nothing happened again went to Polovtsy, this time with Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich.

But for me, the trip was a great science management team. After all it was a real military campaign as part of a large army. Remember what the sense of pride I felt when rode at the head of his regiment on white The nuradin, clothed in shining armor, the Prince in scarlet cloak, with a sword, who never trusted the squire wore himself. Of course, my sword was the honorary name as the swords of all the rulers in the world, but I can't remember. Seem began blacking out. So it is bettergoing to tell you more. What, in essence, the difference, what was the name of the sword a brave young warrior, whose years and tribulations turned into a dying crippled old man?

The first battle with the Polovtsi had happened in the following year (1184 – approx. transl.). Actually, it wasn't even a fight, and chase.

Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich and Ryurik Rostislavich gathered many princes of Chernigov, and pereyaslavskoe, Volyn, Smolensk and Turov, they even had auxiliary regiment from distant Galicia. All this great army, the number of not less twenty thousand soldiers, summer went down the Dnieper, in the southern steppe. When the army crossed the Dnieper, Vladimir Glebovich again began to ask to go ahead with his regiment, and Svyatoslav, unlike Igor, he allowed it. Polovtsi, seeing going to them the regiment of Vladimir, first took flight, but then the Khan Kobyak,thinking that only deals with Vladimir, decided to attack him. Here came the main Russian forces, and hit on Kabaka from all sides. The victory was full, captured no less than seven thousand Polovtsy, including the Kabaka sons, and several other khans.

And returned Svyatoslav and Rurik from a trip with glory and great honour, as we said at the time.

At the same time hit on the Polovtsy and we Siverskiy princes: Igor Sviatoslavich, to his brother Vsevolod, the son of Vladimir I. I. Our hike was oriented to the South-East, we sort of went on the Polovtsy in the rear, although the rear of the these nomads are in constant motion, hard to say.

We crossed the river Merle (Merle is now approx. transl.), met a detachment from the tribe of Khan Konchak, hundreds four horsemen, and defeated him. We were in a lot of times: only my Rilska squad, the smallest in the army, there were three hundred and ninety people.

However, to fight me then didn't Polovtsy faced our best squad, who led Chordata, boyar Vsevolod Svyatoslavich. The enemy immediately fled, and we began pursuit. Yes, father Nicephorus, all the army, because of foot soldiers was not with us. Over the past decade Cumans are so brazen that no fortified cities, as in the days Monomakh – Suhriv and Sharukan, they were gone. Only unfortified camp, which was a smash and cavalry. And Pesci slowed the movement of troops.

Wow, father Nicephorus, didn't think you'd be interested in details the device of our troops. Well, if you're in his youth was a warrior, then I understand. And if so you're wondering, I would say that our cavalry were divided into light, without armor, similar to the Polovtsian, and heavy, similar to the knight, here in Riga such knights set. The princes, dressed in a powerful armor, led their regiments heavy cavalry.

To pursue Polovtsian could only lightly armed horsemen, as far away from the major powers they feared. So we managed to catch up and take in captured only a few straggler soldiers. My retainers are not captured at all nor one, all the prisoners went Gogate, that is, Vsevolod Svyatoslavich.

Not got us and no production. The fact that Igor did not dare to go over Polovtsy far to their encampments, and we have not even reached the Donets river. Indeed, there was a risk that the main forces of the Polovtsians, who fought in the South with Svyatoslav and Rurik, turned in our direction, and they will crush us. In Short, Igor I was afraid. It is better to be feared a year later, and then, in the ninety-second (1184 – approx. transl.) we could go if not to the don, beyond the Donets, and return home with glory and with captives and a rich booty. The main forces the Polovtsy were broken Svyatoslav and Rurik, khans and did not think about the impact on we thought only about how to escape deeper into the steppes. But then we did not knew.

We did not know and that, despite the huge success Svyatoslav and Rurik, the complete defeat Polovtsian they did not work, was destroyed only the tribe Kabaka. And then destroyed is too strong: many managed to flee to Konchak, camps of which was North of the camp Kabaka, just there, where it was directed kick Igor. But, as I said, to camps Konchak, we have not reached. The Khan then was much weaker than next year, and if Igor were not afraid, we could destroy Konchak and to rid Russia of Polovtsian for many years, ifnot forever. But what's the use of talking about it, the more than half a century later?

I the squad returned to Rylsk. At the end of the same year I was born the second son Mstislav.

Came ninety-third (1185 – approx. transl.) – the year of my shame, pain and sorrow. I was only eighteen years old. You, father Nicephorus, I gonna take a break, drink water, get your act together? I never in my life so didn't say much as of now.



Part II,

recorded Peter, a monk of the Abbey of St. Catherine in Riga


Well, father Nicephorus, I am ready to continue. Maybe you've heard of the "Word about Igor's regiment"? (In the original Latin – "the Story about Igor's campaign", but we for clarity we will use in the translation of the well – known name - "the Word of Igor's regiment". Approx. transl.). It was widely known in Russia. I you about this "Word" will tell you if the power will remain. While will tell about the campaign, which is glorified in him. About the campaign, played a truly fatal role in my life.

Right after our unsuccessful exit to the steppe in the ninety and second year (1184 – approx. transl.) Igor went to Kiev to Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich. As far as I understand, Svyatoslav was unhappy that we used turned to their troops, not completed the defeat of the Polovtsians, and because of this, the next year I had to cook another trip.

Plan a new attack Polovtsian repeated last year: the brunt of Svyatoslav in the South, the impact Igor from behind in the North. This time I decided in that whatever was to go forward, to defeat Konchak and walk to the don. Of course, to this great river than in the lower, and in the upper reaches, but don is don. I really wanted Svyatoslav and Igor to drink helmet from the don, as it once did Vladimir Monomakh, lucky they father Oleg Svyatoslavich in the struggle for the great reign. However, it was not only prestige: the defeat Konchak would mean that the Cumans for many years will leave Rus alone.

Decided not to go in the summer, as before, and early spring, as soon as the thaw. This time invented Monomah: to him the princes also went on the Polovtsy in summer, and Vladimir Gromov went in the spring, in February – March, when the horses of the nomads were emaciated after the winter starvation. And our horses in cities and villages, on the contrary, during the winter eating, food supplies we have always done in excess.

It is strange that the great Prince Svyatoslav in previous years had no idea to follow example of Monomakh and go to the Polovtsian not in summer and spring. Then, perhaps, he could destroy not only the Kabaka, but Konchak. And Igor could catch met squad Polovtsy, and even, perhaps, walk to their camps.

But in the end guessed Svyatoslav to go Hiking in the spring – and well. Worse was different: the other Russian princes were not ready for such an early exit in the steppe. And even worse was the fact that the Grand Duke did not keep their plans secret: the fact that spring is preparing a big campaign, almost all of Russia knew fall. Learned, of course, and Konchak: he didn't have to keep informants at Grand courtyard, about the future of the campaign talked all the way down to merchants in the market place.

And this Khan in February launched a preemptive strike, what finally upset all the plans of the Russian princes. How he managed not to give their horses over the winter to lose weight – don't know. Apparently, managed to make their camps need supplies. Moreover, he prepared for war so seriously that even found some Turk, who made the device, shooting something like your "Greek fire". Only "Greek fire" is usually used on ships Konchak, however, dragged the huge crater and tanks of flammable liquid on the ground, on the big sleigh. He had catapults.

And here in southern Russia news spread: Konchak went to Chernigov and moved the river Khorol. As usual during the attacks of the Polovtsy, began looting villages, everywhere fires blazed up, the peasants, not hiding in the cities, led captive.

Yaroslav Vsevolodovich to war was not ready, he had warned my brother Svyatoslav that will be able to exhibit their shelves God by March. However, from Khorol to Chernihiv was still far away, and not much afraid of the Russians Polovtsian "Greek fire": he acted in a too small distance, the Russian archers from its large bows shot much further. And catapults also were not afraid: knew Konchak very few of them.

And yet this attack Konchak was unexpected. Yaroslav began the peaceful talks with Khan, but then to the Chernigov Prince came a messenger from Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich with the command of the negotiations to stop, shut the cities and coming: the people of Kiev are already rushing to the rescue.

And indeed, Sviatoslav came very quickly, as his army had already been made for the campaign. And did not come alone: with him was and Smolensk, and Pereyaslav regiments. The army was not as big as last year, but all equal to fifteen thousand gathered. Forward Svyatoslav sent the young princes Vladimir Glebovich and Mstislav Romanovich, son of the late Grand Duke Kiev Roman Rostislavich. On the way merchants, who traveled from Kipchak steppes, said the princes of the place where he stood Konchak. Vladimir and Mstislav attacked Khan androuted, and managed to capture and "Greek fire," and ingenious Turk.

But as it turned out, Konchak moved Khorol only a small part of his troops. Its main strength remained in the plains, fatten horses and waited nomination of Russian troops that suddenly hit him. Polovtsian forces were great, so as to help the Konchak from the depths of the steppes came several khans, including one of the strongest – GSAC.

But Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich lure deep into the steppes failed. Whether it is something learned from its informants about the plans of the Khan, whether he was scared preemptive output Konchak, whether he just felt something, but after a hike on the Khorol immediately returned to Kiev. A little later, in April, he was sent Polovtsian one of Kiev Governor, the Roman Nesterovich, with the light cavalry berendeys Union of Russia nomads. But Roman defeated several camps and then same went home. Konchak and GSAC don't have to chase him, as it was already on Igor.

This infinitely ambitious man and incompetent commander not only himself caught in the trap, but got into it four thousand persons. Who do I mean? Of Course, Igor. Neither the great Prince Svyatoslav, nor the Roman Governor or Khan Konchak in such a trap is not caught.

Error Of Igor Svyatoslavich was that he was late with the output. Why, I never realized that his army was ready even in winter, shelves other princes of Seversk, in including mine, too. Maybe he was waiting for, when you are a senior Prince Yaroslav of Chernigov, and he never spoke.

But okay, it's all right, but then why is generally performed, especially not agreed its a late withdrawal with Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich, knowing that Svyatoslav did not go to the steppe? Could wait until next year. Apparently it is hoped that the Cumans constrained by the war in the South, and he will be able to take good catch, and to safely escape and return home with honor. Not exactly you know, then I'm your uncle did not ask about it, and then there was no such opportunities. Ask him a question, if you see him in hell. I understand, fatherNicephorus, that it is wrong to say, especially on his deathbed. Accidentally broke. I still never Christian humility did not differ, this is my sin.

As whatever it was, only at the beginning of April to me in Rylsk came a messenger from Igor command to collect your horse regiment and be ready to March. Rylsk was just on the way from Novgorod-Seversky to the Donets river, and I must have been like in the past years to wait the approach of the regiment of Igor. And in my city had to come submitted by Yaroslav Vsevolodovich of Chernigov kovai – consisting on the Russian service of the steppe nomads, under the command of the magistrates Olstin Oleksich. It was light cavalry, such as Berendey and the Polovets. In our princelythe shelves also had a lot of light cavalry, only among kovu was more archers.

"Violent bull" Vsevolod had to walk along the river Oskol and meet us at the empty ancient settlement. Once there was a big city, but the constant attacks Polovtsian led to the fact that the population left there (the meeting place of Igor and Vsevolod is unknown, there is a version that was close to modern the city Kupyansk – approx. transl.).

In the middle of the month in Rylsk arrived and Igor, and Olstin. Igor was his senior son Vladimir of Putivl regiment, and very young second son, Oleg, ten years old, and even younger. Why father took him on a trip is unclear. However, I I heard that Igor is going to give Oleg some table, and in order to son respected, decided to give him the opportunity to Excel in the campaign. Very typical of the cunning and ambitious Igor.

Rylsk filled with troops, place them anywhere, the town was too small and could not to accommodate such a large number of soldiers, so we hurried to speak.

I heard father Nicephorus, that our Orthodox Church believes that to believe in omens sinful. Is this true? And in omens? Depends on what? Yes, Bethlehem star and all that. I just did not know what to believe what happened on our path to the Donets river, the sun suddenly darkened and turned into like a month.

Sight, let me tell you, it was quite ominous. The troops began murmuring, some of the soldiers demanded to turn back. And I swear to God, they were right. Sorry the oath accidentally blurted out: I know what you have to say "Yes, Yes, no, no", and that moreover, from the evil one. But what Igor as if nothing had happened continued on his way, perhaps also from the evil one. However, he appealed to the army and became to calm him down, saying that God works in mysterious ways, and it might a sign, not to bad but to good, will see soon. In this he was right, nottaken away. But still it would be better to turn back, and none of it is condemned . Therefore, I believe that he continued on his way.

At the end of April the troops crossed the Donets and came to the abandoned settlement on the Oskol river. There a couple of days came a regiment of Vsevolod Svyatoslavich, and we went on, for Oskol. In the Polovtsian steppe.

In our army was about four thousand warriors, slightly more than in the past year. My regiment numbered four hundred and twenty. All horse, about half – man, half – light cavalry.

More one error of Igor Svyatoslavich was that we didn't bring in such a dangerous trek Pesci. Hurry still had no way, and the army has doubled. Besides Pesci much better riders held against the superior forces of the Polovtsians, showed more trips of Vladimir Monomakh.

If I decided to count the mistakes Igor, the fourth mistake was that he in the hope extraction took a great trek. The carts drove those whom we, the rulers, called "black people". But production was still far away, still exist it is unknown whether or not it, and yet the train only hampers the movement of troops. Certainly would have found something to take the prey, a prey.

Remember, when the old ramparts were already far away, Igor turned back and said: "O Russian land! You're over the hill". He always loved to speak nicely, but then it turned out as something ominous. The phrase spread through the troops, all too began look back. Indeed, everyone was worried, including me: we were walking down a strange land. Even my trusty steed Nuradin feel restless shook her head, especially when we heard the howl of a wolf: in those places was very high. And maybe it just seemed excitement.

High above the army flew big bird and plaintively singing. The name of this bird nobody he couldn't remember, all said that wondrous some unseen. All it also did not improve the mood. In the end, the archers let her a few arrows did not hit, but she bounced to the side, sat on the top of the tree and continued to sing until he was out of sight.

We walked a short time, just one day. The evening rushed sent forth scouts reported that he had reached the first Polovtsian camps, and there are already stir, Cumans are preparing to meet our troops. Our scouts pursued Polovtsian horsemen, but we sent forward only the lungs riders on the fastest horses, so they are not caught up.

We must pay tribute to Igor: in military Affairs, he was allowed to dispose his younger brother Vsevolod, who was at it like Supreme commander. And Vsevolod was a talented commander and a brave warrior, no wonder he was called "Wild ox". And he insisted not to stay overnight, and go further, to meet the enemy. Otherwise it would be a risk that the light of our fires will come Cumans and suddenly attack us.

We walked slowly and carefully, so that in the darkness of night, the horses did not break his legs in the gullies. Guided by the stars. As soon as he began to enjoy the sunrise, Vsevolod began to build troops for battle, knowing that the Cumans somewhere close. And when on the horizon Polovtsian cavalry, we were already in full readiness.

It was, as I remember, on Friday. Vsevolod came up with a very difficult, but it is a reasonable construction of six regiments. Two regiments of heavy cavalry, which was headed themselves Igor and Vsevolod, stood in the middle, ready to take the brunt. Before them the enemy was waiting for composite regiment of horse archers, which was to meet the enemy with arrows and disperse in different directions, freeing the battlefield for heavy cavalry. On the sides of two lightly armed shelf: one of them was commanded by the son of Igor and Vladimir, the second Lord Olstin The oleksich.

And one regiment of light cavalry, who was standing behind, left hand, he commanded me. Do not think, father Nicephorus that I stayed behind, because avoiding battles: on the contrary, my regiment was supposed to appear in the most difficult the time of the battle and suddenly hit the enemy. You can tell the regiment was ambush.

Entrusting me with this regiment, Vsevolod knew that I, despite his young age, not coward, do not disappoint and will hit the enemy in time. So I gladly left in the train a large and heavy shield, and wearing light armor, was replaced by an iron helmet on the leather, and returned to his regiment.

Ahead flowed a little stream, even a stream. It was called, I think, Sourly (his whereabouts are still uncertain – approx. transl.). This stream has played us a good service: forwards the Cumans were forced, moving him to stop, and their impact on our army was weakened. And when Sourly moved about half of the Polovtsy, our heavy cavalry hit meet them, and the light started to walk around to the right and to the left. And finally, a loud battle cry on the battlefield was my ambush regiment.

Seeing that they bypass, Cumans, turned and fled. And all of our light cavalry chased.

My Nuradin was racing so fast that I had it slightly to hold not to break away from the soldiers. We flew, as if driven by some whirlwind. Began to catch up and cut behind the Polovtsians, and I confess, I have experienced this pleasure, not comparable with anything, even with known activity with women. The frantic thrill of the chase, approaching the back is cowardly the enemy, his recent head turning in my direction, a fruitless attempt to Dodge a sword blow, the crack cuts through armor and bones drop severed heads, and even the entire upper body, fountains of blood from under myfaithful sword, all of it is forever etched in my memory, and even now I feel excitement. Sin is sin, father Nicephorus, I understand, and repent. But since you once was a warrior, you have to understand.

So, following the sheep, cutting and taking into captivity behind, we arrived to their camp at the foot of a low hill near the river Kayala. (That it was for river still not precisely determined, the variants of the rivers Putovani, Kalitva, Fast, Chira, etc.). Cumans, without stopping, rushed on, the river, only some managed to put to his horses, wives and children. But many not yet. We pursued them for some time, but Kalu for them to move.

Soon arrived, and our heavy cavalry. Igor and Vsevolod congratulated me with the first victory, which was very honorable: it turned out that we drew in flight has long been known in Russia Khan's America, and you haven't lost a one man, only a few have been easily wounded. Myself Atopic with their the warriors went for Kalu, he managed to take with you and your family, but we got all of his goodness, and the servants, and even concubines. There were gold and precious fabrics, and expensive velvet, and blankets and coats, and every decoration. I'm not talking aboutbanners, flags and other honorary trophies we could brag about the triumphal return home. Do I have to confess that I enjoyed the production, taken in a fair fight with godless heathens? Thank you, father Nicephorus.

Went over our carts, began to divide and ship production. Then the evening came. Tired but happy, we gathered in the tent of Igor Svyatoslavich on military Council. All apprehension vanished like smoke.

And here Igor made his fifth mistake. I've lost count? Yes, fifth. We had to make a choice: either to go on to don, either to return home. And Igor made this choice – you know what time it is? An hour? Night? No, father Nicephorus, three days. Could not decide where to go.

On the one hand, he wanted to go further, to reach the don and to return home with the glory of not just the winner of the Polovtsy, – such a glory with last year was already Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich and Prince, those who drink helmet Dawn could only Monomakh.

On the other hand, to go deep into the steppes was not that risky, and insanely risky. We are not defeated completely even America: his the army remained almost untouched. Where Konchak, no one knew. Whether fighting it on southern Governor Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich? Or wanders somewhere in the depths steppes? Or is already upon us? But if there is, it only with his tribe or with other khans?

Now I realize that the worst thing we could do is to stay in place. If we already starred with the dawn of the next day and went deep into the steppes to the don, would have a chance in these steppes to get lost and escape key forces Konchak. And so the sheep knew exactly where we were.

Despite the fatigue, I rushed forward, that is forgivable eighteen-year-old youngster. Rushed forward and children of Igor. Vsevolod advised to return home, but advised uncertainly, and it was obvious that he is struggling the mind and desires. No doubt the same was felt by Igor. But how could you not to take a decision within three days – it's even hard to imagine.

However, these three days, Igor spent with a beautiful captive and not neither was in a hurry to go to don or to return home to his young wife Euphrosyne Yaroslavna. Chose a Polovtsian girl and Vsevolod, and me. I admit Nicephorus, in the sin of adultery, but I think that this sin is forgivable: I don't wanted to keep up with uncle. And our boyars, and many of the guards also went polovchanka.

Vsevolod also did not want to sit in a dusty saddle. But he rush Igor. He pleaded that we should give food and rest to the weary horses, especially light cavalry, who bore the brunt of the pursuit of the Polovtsy, and during this time, to think carefully and weigh. So we stood on the spot.

Only then it became clear to us that Syuurliy Cumans lured us in the trap only Konchak used as bait, not any individual units, and the whole tribe Khan's America. And as in all campaigns against the Polovtsy, us was more important to withstand first blow and the second, which was always much stronger than the first. This was, apparently, Igor and Vsevolod lightly forgotten.

In fairness I will say that Vsevolod Svyatoslavich took care to victory day on Syuurliy in all directions were sent on patrol case Atopic'll be back and willing to catch us by surprise. But Atopic back not one. With him were the main forces Konchak, GSCA, and many small khans. All of the soldiers, perhaps twenty thousand, maybe more. With such a vast preponderance of power of the surprise attack already did not matter.

On the morning of the fourth day standing on Kale from all sides rushed our patrol and announced the approach of large Polovtsian forces. Yes, that's all sides, not only from the South or the East, where we waited for the attack. So when Igor and Vsevolod began to build the shelf, it was unclear what the way to turn. Decided to raise all the troops on the hill, where stood princely tents, to put the same train, to circle the wagons and then see which side fit main forces of the Polovtsians.

I think it was the sixth error of Igor Svyatoslavich, the responsibility for which, however, he shares with his younger brother. We had to stand down at Kayala: she could shield our troops from the rear, and most importantly – we do not suffer from thirst. But the desire to see further, and thought that would be easier to defend themselves, were stronger, and we stood on the hill. As it turned out, no in this sense I was not there and the hill was steep enough to complicate attack, and huge Polovtsian forces were advancing from all sides, look not see.

On the hill we took a defensive stance. Put the cart in the circle. All riders went down with the horses. Immediately behind the carts located dismounted cavalry in heavy weapons, bristling with spears and hide behind shields. Behind them lightly armed soldiers, including archers. In the middle – horses and "black people."

Cumans didn't even try to attack us, prevented the carts and none of the nasty not I wanted to rush onto the spears and long swords of Russian arms. They did otherwise: started running around, showering us with arrows. The young Prince Vladimir I., whose memory was still fresh military science, remember that ancient times something similar happened at the battle of Carrhae, where the Roman General Marcus Crassus took up the same defense on the hill, and the Parthians similarly, not attacked on the Roman legions, and only fired them.

So we stood there for the whole day. Dead in our ranks almost was not, but many were injured, mostly lightly armed soldiers and "black people". Heavy armor short Polovtsian arrows did not break. In example, I got two arrows, but the armor was saved, I felt nothing. Was really easy wounded Igor Svyatoslavich: arrow grazed his hand. Fortunately, these poisoned arrows were not.

To the evening we realized that we survived. Cumans almost stopped firing,apparently exhausted reserves of arrows. Thirst we also had, as they say, if you want to live tolerated. The soldiers had the sense to use the wounded horses: dropped to their wounds and drank blood. My Nuradin was safely protected by armor, and no his arrow was not impressed, but my boyars brought me a Cup of the blood of a another horse, and I refused.

The main thing – do not break ranks, and that day we didn't cut. The night began slowly to move our camp towards the river, pushing Polovtsy, and in the morning already was the water. Drunk themselves, watered the horses. And the river is securely closed our rear. In short, our position is strengthened. Although the hill Polovtsy accustomed we throw the arrows, but the distance was great, and their arrows struck us even less damage than before.

Come one more night. Igor and Vsevolod decided that I need to break, not always the same stand Kayala.

For night troops lined up square on all sides – heavily armed soldiers with spears and long swords, covered with large shields, the inside archers, and in the middle – horses and carts. Decided to go on foot: it was easier to keep the system and to fend off enemies. Captured prey first, they wanted to quit, but then I think maybe the sheep have gone, and we could to negotiate favorable terms that give the convoy, and they go back. A reasonable solution.

And Igor came up with a clever, though, in my opinion, and dishonest trick: put among heavily armed soldiers prisoners and use them as a human shield to Cumans did not fire.

But the sheep, seeing the morning our construction is not to shoot. They came on our square in front, knocked, and fingered the swords of shields and swords advanced warriors and took to their heels.

Oh, if Vladimir Igorevich in this moment reminded of his father as the Parthians won when Carr Marcus Crassus! Don't you remember, father Nicephorus? They used the false retreat, and the chief of cavalry Publius, son Mark, rushed to pursue them, broke the ranks of the Legionnaires, and it killed him and Crassus, and all of the Roman army. The same happened many centuries later on the banks of the Kayala river. Only a fatal mistake made first Prince Vsevolod Svyatoslavich, and then his older brother Igor.

What this account error Igor? Seventh, is it? Yes, my head still thinks.

Vsevolod, seeing the flight of the Polovtsy, jumped on his horse, waved his sword and shouted: "beat nasty!". We all thought he was going to rush in pursuit. And Igor instead of having to keep my brother from the destructive act, too, sat in the saddle and shouted: "Forward!".

Maybe Vsevolod just wanted to cheer soldiers, and Igor had in mind only what is necessary to continue to move forward, that is home? But then why have they sat on their horses? Not surprisingly, all the soldiers took these commands as a signal for persecution, upset their ranks, ran to their horses, jumped in the saddle and rushed in pursuit Polovtsy. And that was the end.

The enemies are turned on us, because of the surrounding hills appeared shelves and started beating him. Cumans easily wedged in our ranks, and one Russian was their five, and then ten. A few minutes later each of us saw around him only opponents in the fur-trimmed hats.

My heavy armor knocked Polovtsian sabers, although, fortunately, was not hurt. Thank you Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich: the armor was his gift for my wedding. In my opinion magnificent horse Cumans was not beaten: apparently, wanted to capture and cherished. I tried to fight, repulsed the enemy attacks, but knew that a long time I don't to survive: sooner or later the sword will hit one of the joints of my armor, and that's all. However, I was willing to take the heroic death, and God, I wish I then took it. As my distant ancestor, grandfather Yaroslav the Wise, who boresame name as I, Svyatoslav, only a patronymic not a Prince, and I.: "Do not disgrace the Russian land, but lie down bones, the dead are not ashamed".

Nuradin, like most of our horses, was larger than the Kipchak steppe horses, that is I could in the battle to see far. And here I saw staggered and fell a huge the banner that was carried Igor. I would think that my uncle was killed, but I noticed that he still sat on the horse, but not fought. His hands were raised, and it was a sword.

I I never thought that someday have to surrender to the enemy, and not even imagine how do it. But seeing the fallen banner of Igor, I did same: he threw the sword, raised his hands and shouted to the standard-bearer, so he pulled down my banner. So I think that the sin of surrender was forced: I just followed the example of his uncle, who preferred delivery of imminent death. Well, father Nicephorus, that you agree with that, but unfortunately, it was not the last from my sins. And not the most serious.

Me immediately removed from his horse, tore the armor and clothing, leaving only underwear. Then dragged him somewhere. Behind me I heard a snicker: it Nuradin tried to run after me, and it upsets a few nasty, grasping the reins, brutally beaten. I rushed to my faithful horse, attempted to drop holding me Polovtsy, but immediately received a blow on the head with the hilt of the sword and fell into oblivion.

Woke up I'm lying on the ground among their rylskij soldiers. All Russian prisoners were driven in large crowds and divorced on Hiking camps that Cumans during this time, managed to place near the battlefield. I, along with my soldiers was captured by Khan Eldesouky, Vsevolod – to Czecho, and Igor – to Chibuku. Well, there were several khans, whose names I have forgotten, but that it doesn't matter. All these khans are big crowd went from camp to camp and lively discussion as we share and one of us was going to get themthe main leader of the Konchak. Nearby lay the mountain of loot, khans, too said something.

In the crowds of prisoners gloom prevailed. Who stood, who sat, who was lying. There was a lot wounded, no one was bandaged their wounds, and had nothing. As I later learned, about half of our troops were killed, fled just people fifteen others were captured.

Through a few hours when the sun was setting, khans, finally, about something agreed. First, we began to count, then to move us from place to place, to separate the princes, nobles, warriors, militias and "black people" – obodnikov. I was in a small crowd of boyars and princes. There we met with his uncles – Igor and Vsevolod. They too were in their underwear, and it's underwear them lost their soldiers, and they were actually stripped naked. Children Igor was also with him.

However, long to sit in the same underwear we did not have. All the princes, almost all the boyars and approximately half of the remaining prisoners eventually went to the mighty Konchak, and this was the best solution for us. Konchak, we knew very well, he's not participated in a princely strife, including with Igor Svyatoslavich: I think I already talked about this. So we do not doubt, the attitude towards us will be, if not good, then at least respectful, and sooner or later we will be redeemed.

And indeed, soon we approached Konchak, fell from his horse, warmly greeted with Igor, even hugged him, nodded to the rest of the princes and the boyars. Then Igor and his children – Vladimir and Oleg, you brought good clothes, summed up the horses, and they went away together with Konchak.

Soon brought clothes for me and Vsevolod, and the boyars. Us uncle went to new old boyars, someone a whole, and someone bloody, taken from the dead. But such clothing is really helped as it was getting dark, the air became cold, and all chilly. Shoes, however, there was no, were all barefoot. Just me and Vsevolod gave boots.

Simple soldiers received clothes for the next day, and some of the wounded cold spring night froze to death.

Already the next day Konchak and GSAC with his troops went on a trip to Russia. Konchak – South-West, to Pereyaslavl, and the GSAC – North-West, defenseless after the defeat of Igor Siver land. Konchak was easily repulsed Svyatoslav and other princes, and GSAC passed around Novgorod-Seversky Principality, inflicted terrible damage, looted and burnt villages, drove into exile many of the residents. Here what a disaster turned levity and military talent of Igor.

But the hike Konchak and Gzak we found out later. Then just saw that a large part of the Polovtsian troops went somewhere. We were taken to the main camp, the rate Konchak, hundred miles South-East from the site of the battle of Kale (location unknown bet Konchak, Prince Svyatoslav, of course, also not able to determine exactly – approx. transl.).

Went we slowly surrounded Polovtsian guards, led by centurion Hinnom. See, father Nicephorus, even the name is remembered, so much grief I caused this Gentile. But then, on the way to the main camp Konchak, the Polovtsian treated to us it is justifiable. Prisoners do not hurry, not customized, even severely wounded drove back on carts. The cart could relax and anyone who is tired. Fed all well – inventory of our own baggage.

Rate Konchak was situated among woods and pastures, between two rivers, that is the horses were comfortable and graze, and water, and the rate was protected by rivers from sudden attacks. When we were brought to this camp, Igor and sons were already there. In one tent he lived Igor himself, in another – Vladimir and Oleg I.. For us with Vsevolod put another tent. The boyars were put in large tents for ten people. Allowed to keep servants. Guards stood around, but inside dwellings not included. We could walk from the tents, guard us not let.

The rest prisoners placed close to the open air, but for the sick and wounded put tents. The food was all quite bearable, and we, the princes, generally ate not much worse than at home.

With Vsevolod we are well settled: we always got along with him and your life together in Polovtsian tent only strengthened our good relations. Although he was my uncle, and the age difference we had more than ten years, but he never kept me down. In the end, I still belonged to the senior branch Seversky princes.

Igor Svyatoslavich lived alone, his tent had stood outside of the ring of protection. He's the one servants was more than all the other princes combined. He even returned to his horse, and he often went on falconry. When he went out with him went Polovtsian guards, but rather, they fulfilled the role of falconers. To him and he often went to Novgorod-Siverskiy messengers. It was even said that soon it will arrive Orthodox priest, – and this despite the fact that at this time Konchak and GSAC robbed Russia!

When Igor returned the horse, I asked Hainan, is it possible for me to get back Nouradine. The centurion replied in broken Russian that the horse and armor always go to winner. Then I wanted to know why the horse was returned to Igor and received the answer, what Konchak finds the Prince his friend and comrade, and believes the campaign Igor forced to say: he was forced Svyatoslav. So Khan gave the Prince the opportunity to buy the horse, and releases Igor on falconry, as he gave his word that you will not escape. Then I asked if I can buy Nouradine,when from Rylsk will receive a ransom for me. Gainan promised to find out who got my trusty steed, and deal on the price.

But about Nouradine I never heard, as soon Igor Svyatoslavich added to their mistakes are dishonest and low thing: in June, he escaped from captivity, breaking the this Konchak word and leaving in the lurch not only all the princes, boyars and other prisoners, but also their sons.

For many years I wondering why Igor did. And found the answer only when many later I read the "tale" about what you will tell if there will be forces. And I am not sure if my answer is correct. So if you see my uncle in hell then I will ask him this question.

Yes, father Nicephorus, I already said that it is wrong to think, as our posthumous being in God's hands. But do I have any hope to go to Paradise? Yeah, I'm honestly all I confess, nothing to hold back and sincerely repent in all their terrible sins. Thank you, father Nicephorus that you're not taking I hope. Maybe Igor before his death sincerely repented of their sins, and now dwells in heaven, and I meet him there? So too it is impossible to say? Well, I will not judge, neither of heaven nor of hell, I'll just gofurther. The hell I got on the ground.

And hell began when Igor escaped from captivity. However, ran is too strong a word: just he sat on his horse and rode away. With him went one of the Polovtsian officials, dissatisfied with Konchak. Did my uncle, what fate awaits the remaining prisoner?

Said Konchak as just back from a trip to Russia, he was told that Igor fled, and Han gave chase but could not catch the Prince.

We learned about escape Igor next day. Everything is ominously quiet. The guards forbade us to enter the tents, we stopped to let the servants of the Polovtsian warriors brought we eat something like soup, and all. Vsevolod Svyatoslavich was so shocked by the act of his brother, refused to discuss it with me.

Another a few days came Konchak. Princes and boyars expelled from the tents and mixed with the rest of the prisoners. To our crowd approached the Khan with his entourage, and his the order of the Cumans began to tear off our clothes, leaving only underwear – so the same as it was after the battle of Kale.

To Konchak came Ilya Mikhalkovich, the oldest and worthiest of the Seversky boyars, uncle-pestun Vladimir and Oleg I.. Lord sedately bowed and began to say that a dishonest act of one person cannot be the reason for in order to humiliate the others, and that Khan can increase the ransom and is be honest.

But Konchak drew his sword, shouted: "Redemption will not be!", and with one blow demolished Ilya's head.

We have all become to offer a dying prayer to the Lord, waiting for the massacre. Indeed, Cumans bared swords, and at their punches landed several people. But Konchak stopped the carnage and ordered us to undress, but not to kill. Then another thought and called the sons of Igor, and they were taken away. Many years later I found out that cunning and calculating Konchak profit motive prevailed over rabies violations of Igor's words: Vladimir and Oleg held in captivity for a couple years, all this time was a hostage, and in the end, Igor is not only never morefought against Konchak, but made him a strong Alliance, sealed by marriage Vladimir with Khan's daughter.

And with all the other prisoners Konchak still did not miss her. He decided to get our money not as a ransom, and income from the sale in the slave market.

We were out of the Khan rate and led to the East. Drove not as princes, boyars and combatants, and as slaves. Neither eat nor drink, nor sleep, almost did not give. Constantly beat whips: on my back since then left two scar, and I take them to the grave. Weak and lagging killed the guard, commanded by the same Gainan now he behaved quite differently. Some of the wounded to that time had not yet recovered, and they died first.

Has arrived the summer night was warm, so we have no clothes, not cold. But hot the day-star mercilessly scorching the skin, we are all covered with scabs from sunburn, and for some the burns proved fatal. Some fell dead on the go: heart.

Sad the procession of thousands of half-naked exhausted people walked and walked towards the rising the sun. The Russian land was removed with each step, and hope for a speedy return was gone.

Don't know how far we've come. Miles, perhaps four hundred or more. We went for two weeks, I can't say: I lost count of the days. Woods and streams came to an end, started dry steppe, and we began to suffer not only from hunger and scorching the sun, but also from thirst.

You heard father Nicephorus, this city of Sarkel? Yes, in the lower reaches of the don, in steppes. (The city stood on the site of the present Tsimlyansk reservoir – approx. transl.). Once, in the very Sviatoslav Igorevich, who said, that the dead are not ashamed, Sarkel came under the rule of Russia and became known as the White Tower. During Monomakh Cumans defeated the city survivors of Russian inhabitants have left it and it turned into a kind of huge trade the camp with the slave market, where slaves were delivered, captured the steppe nomads. Then these slaves were transported by slave traders down don Sourozh and the Russian sea. Yes, those which you Greeks call Meeticcom lake Euxine (we are talking about the Black and Azov seas – approx. transl.). Buildings in Sarkel survived a bit: mainly, the city consists of yurts. However, there are foundry, blacksmith and pottery workshops, and such a huge bargain I in Russian cities saw. Bargaining is adjacent vast a slave market.

When we drove in Sarkel, thousands of people remained no more than eight hundred, and they were more like living skeletons. Including Vsevolod. Seeing don, my uncle said sadly: "That drank don helmets".

Drove in a huge, scary dirty caravanserai. Fed is even worse than in the way, but we at least not to waste power on a walk and just lay there. And water, fortunately, was enough: Don was near. But to unbearable heat added heat, a caravanserai for the day turned into a red-hot furnace, and people continued to die. The bodies are not was carried out to obtain food and to the dead. So the smell of sweat and dirt was mixed with the smell of decomposing bodies, we piled in the far corners. Spiders, lice, lice, bugs, flies – all these vile creatures, too, wehaunted. Sometimes even a snake crawled and stung the helpless sufferers, blame the majority just because they are born into the light. Yes, father Nicephorus, I'm talking about original sin. We washed our baptism? But what then it was all us, honest Russian soldiers who defended their homeland from the Gentiles? Yes, I agree that we should not even ask such questions. Too scary to hear the answer.

Vsevolod Svyatoslavich, chief among us, decided to protest. I tried to dissuade him, reminded of the sad experience of the late boyar Ilya Mihalkovich, but "wild ox" I didn't listen. He asked the guards to call Hainan, and when he came, told him that we are people, not cattle to keep us in such conditions. Gainan grinned and slapped Vsevolod handle whip, smashing him in the face. Then repeatedly kicked the fallen Prince in the ribs and stalked away. That day we do not give any food: apparently in punishment for the expressed dissatisfaction.

In this the caravan we stayed another three weeks, if not months.

This terrible life ended when the Turks arrived Farhad – as I later learned, not just a slave, and the slave trader noble blood. He had a permanent trade relations with the Polovtsian khans, and he bought the noble captives not one by one, and all who were brought in Sarkel.

Logging in caravanserai and looking at us, he shook his head and walked out. Soon ran Gainan: apparently, because of our status to miss a lot money, and Konchak will be unhappy. So we are well fed, allowed go for a walk, and once again began to split, only this time separated the noble from the simple warriors and "black".

A few days came again Farhad and this time, apparently, was more than happy with our health. All carefully examined, demanded to open his mouth, checking teeth. Who refused to be subjected to the humiliating procedure, more suitable for people as for horses, those beaten. In the end, all examined, and almost all Farhad come: in the princely retinues people strong.

All the nobles the prisoners were herded into the hold of a ship, and we sailed down the don. Us had a hundred people. The fate of the others unknown to me.

The hold was very crowded, but the guards already made not of the Polovtsy, and from the Turks, let us on the deck for a walk. Outdoors, in the cool water, we felt much better. Fed is very good – in any case, compared to the caravanserai. Who wanted, could pull, and many the number of Vsevolod, they took advantage of little to strengthen feeble hands. Rowing was voluntary, as there is no there was no need: first we went down stream of the don river and then into the sea the wind was favorable.

In September, we arrived in Zonguldak – the city of the Seljuk Sultanate on the Anatolian coast Russian sea. There was a huge slave market – as I thought, still more than in the Sarkel.

Again separated the princes of the boyars, nobles from other nobles. Us with Vsevolod was put in a large a room in one of the monotonous stone buildings around the slave market. In this room there were already several noble slaves from different countries. Was there your countrymen, father Nicephorus, the nomarch with the military title of Stratelates and another senior official in the rank of master. There were Latins – several German and French barons and one French-count. And even the Polovtsian Han, which people sold into slavery during some strife. Iwanted to beat him, but Vsevolod Svyatoslavich I kept: we were all in trouble, and it was no time for strife.

Came Hamid – also Turks and also a slave owner. With him was a Mullah, who spoke and Telecom from Turkish language into Latin and Greek: Turkish none of us knew. Hamid announced that he is now our master, we Farhad passed on to him. I don't know how, it doesn't matter.

We all in eager rivalry began to offer Hamidu the ransom, but he said that it is not just cheated and he doesn't believe anybody, besides for each of us to contact homeland – it is long, and the broker will pay them at best a few months, and all this time will have us to feed and protect. So he said that will make us a wonderful proposal that we should be happy to take.

We alleged lucky we were not to the Gentiles, and to the Muslims who revere the noble birth, and ready for the treatment of highborn people in the true faith to sacrifice profit. So he invites us to accept Mahometanism. Those who do, will be granted freedom, and we will be able to have jobs and earn their way home. Or find ways to contact to us money sent.

We asked Hamid, then what is its benefit. He explained that for every new convert allegedly receives from the Sultan a lot of money, and performs a sacred duty Muslim to convert noble people.

In the confirmation of the words Hamid Mullah read a Surah of the Koran, which I then, when I learned Arabic, had memorized. It says: "the Pious one who believe in Allah, the Last day, the angels, the Quran, the prophets, who handing out possessions to relatives, orphans, poor, wayfarers and the needy, spend it on freeing the slaves". So, to free the slaves – Mohammed, a truly noble thing, and I thought then that the Seljuk the Sultan could they do.

And this Mullah told that two hundred years ago, some Caliph – whether Abu Ali Mansur, or al-Hakim (apparently, we are talking about the Ismaili Caliph, Abu Ali al-Mansur, surnamed al-Hakim bi-Amri-Alla, who ruled in Egypt in 996-1021 years – approx. transl.) – banned all slavery.

We asked about circumcision. The Mullah explained that circumcision is desirable but not mandatory for Muslims. Faith cannot suffer for that man is not clipped, and for this, Allah will demand his report about his past life. Convert can be circumcised according to their wish, or don't do it at all. And the fact that in General, the circumcision of Muslims accepted, so it is not more than tradition.

By the way, everything in the story of the Mullah were true, but, as they say in the East, from scraps of this truth Hamid made his veil of lies. And about this lie Mullah must have known, not could not know, that is, both participated in the fraud. I wish this insidious Mullah forever burn in hell along with false by Hamid, and I hope that you, father Nicephorus, not going to argue against such wishes. We don't have even on his deathbed to extend to the infidels our Christian forgiveness, right? The more on such a cunning and deceitful.

Hamid said what we have to decide quickly, and then a couple of days there is a boat in China, and there is just the need of the noble slaves, and if we there sell, this is the end: from China no one has ever returned. He gave us time to think before the next day and left.

Such kindness slaver many seemed suspicious. We deliberated, tried together to decide something and to take a common position. But it did not: some were for the adoption of Islam, some against, and some demanded that we not fettered the freedom of faith of each other. So I decided that everyone should to decide for themselves.

And more half of us agreed. I've already repented in confession of this sin, but was then under a false name, and then my repentance, I fear, is invalid. So I confess again, now as a Russian Prince Svyatoslav ol'govich, in the baptism of Boris: and I agreed. I beg you, father Nicephorus, cleanse me of this sin apostasy. I've got a terrible punishment in this life, and be even more terrible punishment in the hereafter – I think it would be too cruel. Yes, of course I understand that it is not for us to try to predict the decision The Lord of our lives.

Needs to say that my uncle Vsevolod not only refused to accept Mahometanism, but also persuaded me not to agree. He rightly argued, that apostasy is the gravest sin. I objected that this sin – forced, but I'll get freedom and return home, but otherwise I waiting for slavery in China without any hope of return. In addition, immediately after the return from captivity, I will repent, and any priest I this forced sin let go. Understand me, father Nicephorus: I was exhausted adversities and dreamed about them early completion.

Vsevolod wisely said that Hamid and the Mullah don't look foolish, and certainly something conceived: they can not understand that we are at the first opportunity repent and return to Orthodoxy.

I still don't listen to Vsevolod and agreed to accept Mahometanism. As soon as I am about this bitterly regretted, but it was too late!

The next day, those of us who agreed, brought a poor, but nice, clean and almost new Eastern clothes. Then began one by one to output to the mosque, adjacent to the slave market. Before the Mullah and a large number of people each of us had raise your hand three timesto say the word so-called "main Muslim evidence" – Shahada. The Mullah explained that these words it must come with faith in your heart and with the firm intention to accept the true faith, and that accepting Islam is obliged to give up all beliefs, contrary to this belief. Since we don't know Arabic, but I have to recite the Shahadah consciously, he was allowed to speak at our choice on Greek or Latin.

I chose Greek, because since the childhood she knew him better than Latin. Mulla, perfectly speaking both languages, dictated to me in Greek, I repeated after him. Even memorized the lyrics since then many times remembered him: "I know, believe with all your heart and acknowledge in words that there is no God but one Creator is Allah, and know, believe with all your heart and acknowledge in words that Mohammed the last messenger of Allah."

It turns out that nothing more was required. The Mullah solemnly declared that now I was a Muslim, and I need to perform all the duties prescribed By The Almighty Creator.

Sorry I did not hear the question. What have I done that? Your cross? No, father Nicephorus, no one in the adoption of Islam did not force me to spit on him or perform other improper conduct. It just needed to be removed before the ceremony, but I even do not have: a cross with me broke Cumans another on the way from bet Konchak in Sarkel, as it was gold and cost a lot, and nothing is sacred, of course, for the godless, filthy no. None of the cross has not survived and my other companions in misfortune, who converted to Islam in mosques Zonguldak: allwas a noble and once rich people, and all crosses was a great value.

So I became a Mohammedan. Xcalving to immediately leave the mosque, naively believing that immediately got freedom. But the guards grabbed me by the hand and led them through another door. Held in the yard and pushed him into a room where I had not previously visited. Remember his regret about the fact that I don't have time to say goodbye with Vsevolod. More I'm your uncle never seen.

New the room was also a guard. There were five of them – those who embraced Islam: I, the Polovtsian Khan, two German Baron and former nomarch. They brought us to eat, and the food was much more delicious and abundant than in the room where we had sat before, although there were fed well.

Soon came Hamid. We rushed to him and began to recall that we are promised freedom. But the slaver explained in broken Latin, you first need to prepare all the necessary security credentials, and he asks us to wait another day or so. We calmed down and even began to remember known Islamic rituals like creations from prayer, because they knew that some time will have to comply with them. Decided that we would go to the mosque and to consult with the Mullah.

The next day, the guards began to drag us one by one. We decided that to obtain security certificates, and left quietly.

That happened further, it is hard for me to say. Give me some time to think how best to tell about it.



Part III,

recorded Stefan, a monk of the Abbey of St. John in Riga


Don't know if you father Nicephorus, to hear about the horrors that I was subjected to. Will I offend the story about them your Christian love for mankind. But you still once were a warrior all I saw, and the confessions you had a lot to listen to, so will tell it as it was.

I brought in some the basement. There were a few people in the blood-splattered clothes. In the middle stood a table, also bloody. There was blood on the floor. I don't realized what was happening and where I was jerked, but was tightly grabbed.

I was stripped naked and knocked on the table. Tightly tied. Tightly bandaged a stomach and hips, from top to pulled the harness – as I learned later, in order to reduce bleeding. In his mouth stuck a thick piece of wood that I didn't bite off his tongue. Quickly shaved off the hair in the groin, then I felt a terrible pain: all the tender and sensitive spots soaked with tincture of burning pepper. Later I found out why had this infusion to reduce the risk of infection.

My shameful parts too tightly pulled strap. Then one of the infidels took a big knife, curved in the form of a sickle. I have flashed the hope that it is only circumcision, but I heard that circumcision makes the Mullah, the same man for the Mullah didn't look and no prayers uttered. And I know what I want to do to me. Started wildly kicking and screaming, but was tied firmly, and my head is also kept, so I smashed it on the table.

Twice he waved knife and completely cut off everything that made me a man. Yes, absolutely. Pain was terrible, with nothing comparable, I still managed to see and spatter from lost consciousness.

I woke up in another room: apparently I brought while I was unconscious. I was lying on the Mat, side by side on the same mats has suffered all five of my mates unfortunately, believing the promises of the infidel liar Hamid and accepted Mahometanism. All of us is shameful parts were inserted silver tube.

So we spent a couple of days. All had a severe fever, a gaping wound inflamed. Often came doctor, smeared our injury some ointments. The Greeks inflammation was too strong, and there is a tumor. Soon, despite the efforts of the physician, unhappy former nomarch died. Remember, his name was Semistriatus, and Mr. was somewhere on the border with the Seljuk Sultanate. Pray, father Nicephorus, for the repose of the soul of the deceased servant of God Semistriatus when you pray for the repose of the soul of the deceased servant of God Sviatoslav, in the baptism of Boris.

As I later learned, one of the five who died – it was quite a bit. After all, we were noble people and cost a lot of money, and we were well treated. When emasculation commoners sometimes died before the half. They even do not use any ointments, but simply burned wounds, and instead of the silver tube was inserted lead.

In a few weeks survivor was able to slowly move about the room. The doctor gave us silver cork in the shape of a nail, which we had to plug the known the hole in the body in the intervals between urinating natural small needs. Tube he pulled us and also gave us saying that if we want to celebrate small need while standing, like men, need to insert a tube, and if you are willing to do it as women and you can up to throw it away. Of course, we all kept our tube and subsequently used them. I always woretucked behind the lapel of a turban, and when I lived in Russia – over the edge of the cap or belt. Here it is, this tube. Put me in the grave, father Nicephorus, this the only thing I have left.

That's so cruel, a monstrously cruel to punish me for apostasy, the Lord in this life. As will punish in the future, not even can imagine.

And the worst thing that the adoption of Islam in any case it was in vain: no one after that freedom no one else did. Soon explained to me that Mohammed was talking about the abolition of slavery how about some bright future, and in all Muslim countries slaves, the at least, they were. Well, it seems like the Kingdom of God which is promised to us by Jesus Christ, but which will be who knows when, and yet people kill each other, pain and Rob, and when struck on one cheek do not substitute another. You see, father Nicephorus, the comparison of our Lord Jesus Christ with the godless false prophet Mohammedinappropriate: I just wanted to clear the crux of the deception. And look how cleverly false Moslems circumvent the law, given to them by their prophet: for the purchase of slaves the phrase: "If there is in this case a sin, he will fall on his head slaver", and the transaction is considered valid. A slaver goes to the Mullah and receives a bribe absolution.

Grief and remorse my has increased even more than when I many years later learned that my other noble the fellow who came to Hamid and refused to accept Islam, did not get in any China. And that there sailed the ship, too, was a lie from the vile slaver. The purpose of this bouncer was to convince us to voluntarily become Muslims, as a force in this faith to pay prohibited. And applied there was a huge demand: many rich houses, harems, and especially mosques slaves of non-Muslims did not take.

So those who don't listen to Hamid, and not changed their faith, remained with him, wrote letters home for them was sent to ransom, and they all returned safely to home. Vsevolod Svyatoslavich, for example, was at home in Kursk, a year and a half. Met him with honor: don't know how in Byzantium and in Russia returning from captivity equate to the wounded in battle.

Us, crippled apostates, no one to celebrate with honor was not going to, and our grief was inescapable.

Thank you, father Nicephorus, for words of comfort. Yeah, I heard that in the Byzantine Empire eunuchs were a huge influence, were priests or servants of the rulers, held high diplomatic and military posts. Who did you say was a eunuch? General Narses, who expelled the Latins from Italy? Didn't know that. Yes, I remember Ancient Israel, where castration was forbidden by the law of Moses, and neutered not even allowed to be in the Tabernacle of the congregation, but this did not prevent the kings Jewish to use the services of eunuchs delivered from other countries. As wellLovcen and Mohammedans: the eunuchs do not exist in the Muslim tradition, as I know it did not exist in the Arab countries during the time of Muhammad. However, this the barbaric custom was easy, and using eunuchs as keepers of harems has taken root in many countries of the East.

But all this a common word, and what it was like for me and my companions in misfortune to experience it all ? How could a young, noble, strong and brave warriors to accept the idea that they are no longer men?

One night, one of barons of grief I wanted to hang, but there was no place, the walls were bare. Then he began to beat his head against the wall. Ran into a guard, tied him up and whipped with whips. He never tried to kill himself, only crying quietly. However, he is not alone: I confess, I too often cried bitter tears of grief. I was only eighteen years old, and what kind of life was waiting for me ahead?

What kind of life was waiting for me it has become clear shortly. Came Hamid and told me that I should be happy: I as the most noble and the young eunuchs from new, bought for the harem the Sultan Salah-ad-DIN. And a week later I was sent to Damascus, in the Sultan's Palace.

You, father Nicephorus, younger me, and the times of Salah ad-DIN, if caught, the child. Although probably about it heard in the Christian world, his name is usually pronounced as Saladin. Yes, it is the Sultan, who took away the crusaders in Jerusalem.

In fact, he was though wrong Mohammedan, but a very worthy man. I still don't know how to treat it. On the one hand, it was the worst enemy of Christianity and some sense, the culprit of my troubles, as poor slaves, including me castrated for harem amusements. Of course, the harems and the eunuchs were all rulers of the East, but the guilt of Salah ad-DIN is still not removed. On the other hand, it was a brave and honest soldier, but for me personally it did just good. As far as possible.

Yeah, I guess I really muddled and unclear it all laid out. Come on then, better tell in order. Full name Salah-ad-DIN I do not remember now, although at one time it is often said. Like this: al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Dunya, then something else and then the actual name and patronymic – Yusuf Ibn Ayyub. But we have it is known as Salah ad-DIN or Saladin, though it's not even a name, and honourable nickname, meaning "Holy faith." When at the beginning of ninety-four years (1186 – approx. transl.), in the winter, I arrived in Damascus, the Sultan was under fifty.

In days of youth Salah ad-DIN in Egypt and Syria were still bloody civil war that was used by the crusaders to strengthen the situation of their Palestinian kingdoms. The beginning of the Association of Mohammedans put predecessor Salah ad-DIN Nur ad-DIN. The Emir of Damascus, whose name wore my trusty steed, the same horse on which I missed him almost more than his wife and children. Yes, father Nicephorus, I I understand that it is a sin, and sincerely regret it. But it is not about the horse, and the Emir Nur al-DIN, who United under his rule Syria, Arabia andMesopotamia. Throughout the Arab East did not quite obey him only Palestine, most of which was ruled by the crusaders, and Egypt.

The father of Salah ad-DIN was the ruler of one of the Syrian cities, and the uncle, the vizier of Egypt. After the death of uncle of Salah ad-DIN, who was then barely thirty, took his place, and soon put the Egyptian Caliph one of the relatives of Nur al-DIN, that is brought Egypt under the rule of the Emir.

And when Nur ad-DIN died, Salah ad-DIN proclaimed himself Sultan of Egypt: this title it was called the rest of my life, even when its capital was Damascus.

Sons Nur ad-DIN began to internecine warfare, Salah ad-DIN took advantage of it, for several years subdued them and became the Emir of Damascus, the Caliph of Baghdad and the ruler of all other holdings of Nur ad-DIN, that is, United under his the power of all infidels of Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt. And crusaders in the Holy Land for the first time there was a single strong opponent, surrounded their Kingdom on all sides.

This the Sultan of Damascus in his Palace and I was lucky on the big wagon. The way I don't remember, as the winter had already come, in Palestine, the rains, the dampness and shaking my wound festered, and the fever. But Hamid prudently sent me doctor: apparently was supposed to get for me from the Sultan large money and therefore feared for my life. It turns out that Salah ad-DIN still intended died from inflammation of Celestials, slaver lost half of the proceeds and didn't want to lose the rest.

At the same time the healer had to watch that I don't kill myself. However, he was not very attentive, and if you want I could strangle at least at the reins of the mules, which driver, to separate, put in the cart next to me. But I almost fell in a daze, only ate, drank and slept like a dumb animal. And constant severe the pain of the wounds fettered thoughts and feelings.

And here the carriage drove up to Damascus Palace. Came two officers, grabbed me by the arm and led him to the harem. The gate slammed shut behind me.

Somewhere I heard that when the prisoner closed the gates of the prison from which he will not leave, he touches in the past. But I wouldn't thought of that. Besides, soon realized that the Imperial harem was not a prison.

Many who were not on East, I think that this is the prison where languish the unfortunate women, persecuted and humiliated. No, nothing like that. Of course, there are there the persecution and humiliation – but are they any other places where the lives of many people, and some harems because the size of a small city. In the harem Salah ad-DIN, for example, only concubines were about five hundred, more than all my Rylsky regiment, with whom I went Hiking. And many slaves and eunuchs.

Yes, father Nicephorus, I see you're talking about harems don't know anything, if you ask, how could the Sultan at the same time a man commits adultery with five hundred women. If you want to tell. I felt much better, my head is clear, though understand that it just a suicide rush.

Let me repeat: the Imperial harem is not a prison. Yes, some women were forcibly taken away, but most of those who were in captivity and slavery, wants to get there – if not a concubine, so at least the slave. Yes, and some loose women prefer harem share of poverty. Eunuchs especially nowhere to go: cut off both will not return, the other way like in a harem in the East the eunuch no, so it is better to get into the harem of the Sultan, than to any a rich merchant or a senior official.

For a harem reserved the best part of the Palace, a few hundred spaces. The main task of architects and other organizers were create possible and sometimes impossible for the ordinary concepts include, creating a special mood, promote pleasure life and joys of carnal love. This wonderful world includes a luxuriously removed chambers mother sultans, Sultan's wives, concubines, school princes and princesses, the home of the eunuchs and servants, rooms for recreation and entertainment, baths, gardens, ponds with exotic fish, swimming pools, fountains, menagerie, hospital and much more. Even the mosque.

Remember when I recovered, came to himself and looked around, it was literally blinded the surrounding splendor. The walls and vaults were covered with fanciful ornament red, green, blue and Golden tones, lined with amazing mosaic tiles. Arches gracefully rested on marble columns. All the walls, doors and Windows were inscriptions in elegant Arabic script, interspersed with flowers, leaves and swirls.

Wow, father Nicephorus, like flowery, Oriental, I described all of this. It happens: remember harem and starts talking to himself in Arabic. The language I learned in perfectly, still held in Damascus for seven years.

All this harem splendor in a sense, distracted me from thinking about her the sad fate. My humble wooden Rylsk away forever as far as dreams about family life and about my dear wife Eudoxia, and even in my dreams I have seen less and less.

Do you think that prison is still a prison, even if it is magnificently decorated? Will not be with you to argue, but still think that the harem is not a prison. Maybe you can convince the story of how the Sultan's harem life women.

There there is a strict hierarchy, which at least partially maintains the discipline in simmering passions Sorority. All relationships, privileges, rights and duties in the harem clearly established. The cornerstone of this building is the favor of the Sultan. Again I flowery expressed.

Main a woman of the harem hierarchy is called a "crown covered with burqa". This is usually the mother of the Sultan. When it dies, as died shortly before my arrival in the harem and the mother of Salah ad-DIN – "the crown" is either the chief Treasurer, or senior wife. The "crown" their own set of maids and eunuchs. Without her knowledge in the harem does not occur any significant events, without her consent no one can be accepted in the harem, be it a concubine or a slave-cook. In some harems responsibility of the "crown" was even blessed with the construction ofattention of the Sultan, chosen on a bed controller. But Salah ad-DIN did eunuch.

Yes, father Nicephorus, I turn to wives and concubines. When they say Salah-ad-DIN had five hundred wives, you are mistaken. As a Moslem, the Sultan had only entitled to four wives, with whom he played weddings with all appropriate ceremonies. All the rest were concubines. Generally speaking, the existence of concubines often is a violation of the Mohammedan law, because they can to admit only women who were captured during the Jihad – war for the faith. But those of Salah ad-DIN was a little. Most concubines comes inharems with the same cunning ways, as slaves to the owners, as I told you already told.

The wife of the Sultan have their private Affairs and their own household. They have even their visiting days. They accept visitors, intrigue and gossip. Their visit of a noble lady and cousin. Sometimes, of course, accompanied by eunuchs – for them from the outside world can be allowed doctors, teachers, merchants jewels and other necessary people.

Among concubines are highlighted so-called "happy" – those with whom the Sultan in for a few months at least once entered into carnal relations. "Happy" live in more affluent apartment, dress better, have more servants, enjoy a certain honor and respect. Of course, for "happy" there is a fierce, though hidden to the public eye the struggle. This fight is and place wife in case one of the four dies. And place main kaznachei, and place of the chiefs of the servants, kitchens, baths and other things.

In Sultan the harem there are hundreds of simple slaves, performing menial work. They cook food, clean the rooms, wash the dishes, sew, wash. They pay decently and time is often released. Wives and concubines almost never leave harem, slaves, accompanied by eunuchs can go to the city for shopping and to perform different tasks.

Well, father Nicephorus, I answered your question, as the Sultan can at the same time to commit adultery with hundreds of women? Yes, if you take into account only a few dozen "happy" still too much work. But he was with them at a time not adultery, no "svalny sin" in the harem does not happen. One night one woman, Mohammedan law and Salah al-DIN respected strictly. Moreover, of the seven parishes in the harem four times Lord obliged to spend the night with their wives, and the "lucky" he onlythree. However, wives have the right to give up their night to other women, and usually I use this to present to the Sultan "happy" in his choice.

General ward the Sultan in a harem and the woman with whom he was spending the night, – a whole ceremony. On its arrival is usually known in advance. The eunuch standing at the doors, unlocks them the required ceremonial and enters the Sultan in the "abode of bliss". Inside the harem the Lord greets chief eunuch, to whom belongs the honor of leading the Sultan in interior of the room. The Sultan immediately says what kind of woman he would like to see beside him that night, or heading to the great hall, where important drinks coffee, and smokes, and concubines swirling around him, singing, dancing and tryingto draw attention to themselves. Of course, all faces are open, and dressed all more than lightly.

The Sultan nothing not interfere with "happiness" for its location a new concubine to immediately forget about its predecessors. Hence the huge number of concubines: they accumulated over many years. The ever-increasing number of women in harem forced to keep detailed records, the date and hour of each stay with Lord, monthly cycles every woman and first signs of pregnancy. Yes, every "happy" wants to become pregnant and give birth to the Prince or Princess. In addition to the joy of motherhood, it raises it to a new level harem hierarchy.

That's all happens to the harem. Who only there does not deliver concubines! Many subjects of the Sultan wants to give there daughter a lot of slave – to sell there slaves. There are even customs by which the conquered peoples presented as a gift to the Sultan of beautiful girls.

Among all this female excellence a man may be only one – the Sultan himself. The rest eunuchs. Some of the rich Mohammedans admit in their harems the dirty work and noscoping men followed the eunuchs only have eyes. Indeed, someone needs to build, repair, decorate, deliver products, to cultivate gardens, to care for the horses. But the Sultan everything should be at the highest level, and doing it all only eunuchs.

Each of "small harem of households" – mother of the Sultan, the Sultan naznachali and wives has from ten to fifteen eunuchs, led by the chief eunuch appropriate court. To "happy" and the rest of the concubines also assigned the eunuchs, though in smaller numbers. The connection of the harem from the outside world the support of the eunuchs.

At the head of all eunuchs of the harem is the Sultan's chief eunuch. It is one of the most important state dignitaries in importance nearly as high as the Grand vizier. His title is "chief gatekeeper of the doors of happiness." He's got a huge chamber, its "small yard", their estates, courtiers, servants, horses and everything else relying one of the first men of the state.

The eunuchs are different. Those who have removed all of the shameful parts, are called "sandals". One not all "filibe". I – "sandals". From Salah ad-DIN in the harem ", filibe" does not was.

Externally, the eunuchs also look different, but it depends not on "filibe" eunuch or "sandals," and from when he was castrated. Who in childhood – the high thin, with violations of the body proportions, with elongated limbs. Who in adulthood, like me – those usually grow fat, lose almost all the hair on the face, the body becomes flabby, the voice is shrill, the gait is staggering. All eunuchs distinguished by a wax yellow of face and skin similar to parchment.

Eunuchs love to eat, I love sweets. Many have a hunger for art, and I for example, could listen for hours to endless Arabian tales.

Justice sake I will say that many of the Sultan's eunuchs, not sit around getting stuffed with sweets and exercise and thereby maintain their body in good condition, although it still shows that it's the eunuchs. And some eunuchs, freed from carnal desires, use all their strength to to prove that the physical benefits are nothing before the power of the mind. And many of them achieve a high position.

But I never was not a philosopher nor wise nor clever court intriguer, nor resourceful and shrewd trader, I was attracted to his military business. And the heights of power in the harem Salah-ad-DIN I soon lifted it.

In General speaking, father Nicephorus, I can not complain about his harem luck, though I started my service there, despite the high princely title from the bottom.

I purchased the Sultan's harem at the behest Guzun, senior wife of Salah al-DIN, who the harem of a dominant position after the death of the mother of the Sultan. Guzun was quiet and colorless, but intelligent and powerful woman about the same age Sultan, and this "crown covered with burqa" loved, that her eunuchs were the noble origin.

Cured me quickly: great care, wonderful food. And I became a servant of Guzun. But since I was subordinate to its chief eunuch, then, basically, we were not "crown covered with burqa", and this eunuch. He Guzun generally did not admit anyone, it was even said that they have some special relationship, that is, they are a kind of perverse means to satisfy the lust of each other. Was the name of the eunuch Malik, by origin he was an Indian, the son of a Raja. Like me, he was taken prisoner, sold into slavery and castrated for harem.

Malignancy and deceit Malik was truly immense. About him told me that one of the concubines he is something he is not pleased, and he wanted to take revenge on her, threw her the room a vial of poison, and then, bypassing the chambers of the women, together with the chief eunuch the harem, the old Abdelkarim, accidentally discovered the bubble and made the assumption that the poison was meant for the Sultan. "The main gatekeeper of the doors of happiness," believed to Malik and told me all about Salah ad-DIN, he became angry and ordered to torture the unfortunate. Under torture she confessed and was executed.

A penalty in the harem was terrible. Women were hanged, crucified, boiled in boiling water, impaled. No, father Nicephorus, this is only a legend that the harem could painfully executed for sidelong glance. Everything was in accordance with Muslim laws: repeated theft, which in the harem was often for murder or attempted murder, as scenes of wild jealousy flared and then, for blasphemy, for witchcraft, often on dubious denunciations by jealous rivals. Death punished the adultery of women. On godless pervertedrelationship of women to each other or with eunuchs looked, as they say, through fingers only "happy" is strictly prohibited. Attempt to escape from the harem also punishable by death, as was equal to adultery.

Before sentencing women were tortured and during the torture, they usually confessed all that I done and not did. So then they were executed, like, right.

A favorite torture of Malika was sticking needles under fingernails: it leaves almost no trace, and if the Sultan suddenly decided to forgive the poor, then the product would not be damaged, and not Indian it would be claims. A favorite punishment was to give Malik a woman at the mercy of her jealous rivals: before the horrors of ingenuity Oriental women even pales planted on a stake. Too tricky: Sam Malik like there were nothing to do with it.

In the chambers this angry Indian always stood ready stick to beat the guilty servants at his heels. Usually these sticks to frighten the beat eunuchs newcomers immediately after entering the harem, regardless of whether they were anything guilty or not, were princes or commoners. The unfortunate laid on the floor with bound hands and legs and beaten on the soles of his feet as long as they do not were fainting from the pain. I was not beaten up just because I was in the harem is very weak, the wounds could open up.

Then however, I have three times punished for minor infractions, once for dropped my coffee, which was served to Malik, one time – when not low bowed to this Indian once – when not fast enough took it note Guzun. The pain from the blows with a stick on the soles of the feet seems to be not very strong, it is not compared with pain during castration, but it is given in the mind like the burn, and even the person with the strongest will begins to scream and squirm like a snake. Yes, father Nicephorus, and I screamed and writhed, despite the fact that he was a Prince.

And it hurts it was my soul! And not only in times of punishment: how humiliating it was for me proud of Rurikovich of all be in the service! Repent, sinful thoughts about to kill herself, during the service at the infamous Malik visited a lot more of me than in Zonguldak after castration.

Then gradually began to get used to. But then my harem fate magically changed.

However, why magic? I will say without false modesty has changed thanks to my valor. Will tell you how it was. Like a warrior warrior. Or as former soldier the former soldier, whatever.

By the time when I was in the harem, Salah ad-DIN has United the Mohammedans against the crusaders. And among the Palestinian rulers of Christian kingdoms and counties, on the contrary, unity was not. Flourished intrigue, ambitious thoughts, promiscuity mores. A sad example is the Patriarch of Jerusalem Heraclius, who not only like the most depraved popes, but surpassed in their depravity, openly lived with their mistresses and lavished on them the Church's means. However, Earls, barons, knights, and bishops were no better.

Do you think, father Nicephorus, that this can not be? But all this we say in the Sultan's the harem, and there was rarely wrong. We in any case was not isolated from the world, even the Sultan and his dignitaries little concealed from eunuchs: we were able to keep secrets.

We are well knew that during the life of the Jerusalem of king Baldwin IV, who died leprosy in the same year, when I was in the harem, the heir to the throne was his seven-year-old nephew Baldwin V, and Regent, count Raymond Tripoli, which, by the way, I soon had to face on the battlefield. This graph signed with the Salah ad-DIN a truce for four years. But after a year the young king suddenly died, and the heir to the throne had to choose among two sisters Baldwin IV: Sibylla and Isabella.

In Accra (Accra, now the acre is approx. transl.) noble Jerusalem the nobles decided that the right of electing a new ruler will be given to Pope Rome and the monarchs of the Holy Roman Empire, England and France. But soon, not waiting for a higher solution, the nobles were divided into two the warring parties: for Sibylla and her husband guy de Lusignan, and Isabella and her husband, Onfroy. The first party consisted of Grand master of the order of the Temple, Gerard de Redfor and Patriarch of Jerusalem. The second count of Tripoli Raymond and a number of distinguished nobility. The first batch was stronger, and a year after death Baldwin IVin Jerusalem crowned Sibylla and guy de Lusignan.

Recently in Russia I again recalled divisions among Christians that took place then in Palestine. History repeated itself, only even more tragic: to Russia after a similar split came Batu Khan, a ruthless pagan, and Salah ad-DIN was not a pagan, and Mohammedan, that is, believed in one God, considered Jesus Christ a prophet, and most importantly – had at least some concept of chivalry.

And just to break the truce the Sultan could not: he needed a reason. And found a reason. It there was an old brigand Renaud de Chatillon. Yes, other than rogue, this Frankish the Baron can not be named. He was over sixty, he fought all his life for the different States, and at one time was the ruler of the city of Antioch. When I came to Palestine, he was doing what was raiding caravans the Mohammedans, who went out of Egypt: he was trying to disrupt trade between possessions Salah ad-DIN and turn the trade routes to tyre, Sidon, Ascalon,Antioch and other Christian cities. During one of such attacks, which Renault have made from your castle of Krak, he captured a caravan in which was one of the sisters of the Salah-ad-DIN.

All the claims of the king, guy de Lusignan, Renaud replied, that the king might, and the world with unbelievers, but he, Mrs. Krak, such a world is not and can not be. The same thing he told the messengers of the Sultan, and recalled that he was "a master in his earth as king in his". And everyone knew inhuman treatment de Chatillon captives from the Mohammedans, which in anticipation of redemption, kept in a close pit, and those who could not be redeemed, dropping from a high the walls of the castle Krak.

And that's when Renaud de Chatillon struck Salah al-DIN insult of honor and family feeling, the Sultan declared Jihad on Christians. In what year was it? In the second year of my stay in the harem means, in the ninety-fifth (1187 – approx. transl.).

In the spring the Sultan's army marched from Damascus to Galilee. Usually the Sultan took with a part of his harem. Do you think, father Nicephorus that it irritated the warriors suffered the hardships and privations until the Sultan dallied with concubines? Don't forget what is the East, and no one even thought could not occur to the Sultan shared the hardships with the common soldiers. On the contrary, the presence of the harem gave warriors confidence that all is well, and the Sultan will not run from the battlefield, leaving their wives and concubines.

This time Salah-al-DIN took a few "happy". Senior wife Guzun – "crown hidden veil" – also decided to go Hiking not to leave the harem and the Sultan himself without supervision. She told me to go with you Malik, who – I several eunuchs Guzun. Went and the eunuchs who served "happy", chosen for the campaign.

We moved behind the troops, with baggage. Women on the wagons, under the canopies of the eunuchs – next, on camels. Around in the beautiful Arabic horses pranced armed to the teeth, the eunuchs, the guards under the leadership of Iksan, a chief guard of the harem. Abdelkarim, the Sultan's chief eunuch, to a campaign did not go: was this already too old.

In the army Salah ad-DIN was more than thirty thousand men – infantry, and cavalry. In Palestine already was very hot, we walked slowly, from the source to source, making small transitions and large halts. Way from Damascus to Galilee is short of fifty miles, you can do a couple of days pass, and we went more than a week.

Sultan the army came to the sea of Galilee (also lake of Gennesaret, lake Kinneret – approx. transl.) and besieged the coastal city of Tiberias (Tiberias also – approx. transl.). The siege also took place slowly and, moreover, Salah ad-DIN, referring to the knightly code of honor, are allowed to send from the fortress messengers for help.

Me taught by bitter experience of the struggle against the Polovtsy, once thought that the Sultan such a leisurely hike and literal adherence to the chivalric code has the goal is to lure the Crusader army into a trap. It just happened. As at this time in acre Royal Council discussed a new crusade, and when from Tiberias came a messenger with a request for help, the Franks immediately decided to go to the rescue. The decision was hasty, poorly thought through.

Soon the Christian army marched, it had two thousand mounted knights, eighteen thousand infantry and a few thousand light archers, – so, soldiers in Salah ad-DIN if there was more then slightly. To encourage the crusaders, The Patriarch of Jerusalem sent the Holy Cross, accompanied by two bishops. Yes, the very cross on which was crucified our Savior.

Coming in early July in Galilee, Christians stopped at Sepphoris (tzipori also – approx. transl.), one crossing from Tiberias. This day became known, the besieged city fell, held only the citadel. Long to hold it could not, therefore, the crusaders rushed to help. It was a mistake: Safaricom and Tiveriada was not a single source, and they would have thoroughly to stock up on water. They did not, fearing that I will miss to rescue the defenders of the citadel.

And in the morning the crusaders made to Tiberias. By noon, their army was thinning: July heat in Palestine is incomparable, and the people fell unconscious, and then dead. And there was no water.

Soon the crusaders began to feel light cavalry Salah-ad-DIN. In these clashes lost many Christian Pesci.

Miles five from Tiberias, the crusaders stopped in a small village near who was the source is too small, so that the army could drink, the more water the horses. However, Christians camped for the night about this source. I'm guessing this was a mistake: if they'd attacked the Sultan on the move, they would have at least some chance of success.

Close the camp of the crusaders was located the village of Lubia, a little further gentle the hill on which stood the village of Hattin. Above it towered the cliffs, called Horns Of Hattin. The sea of Galilee was also close, but the path to it was blocked by the army of the Sultan.

By the middle of the following day the troops converged at Lobii. More precisely, they agreed only the vanguard. The main forces into battle never came, as the day was even hotter than before and exhausted crusaders barely begun to fight, chose to withdraw in the hope that the Sultan will not pursue them. But the hope proved futile.

Retreated Christians to the village of Hattin, this hill. Yes, father Nicephorus, who, in The gospel known as the "Mountain of bliss". But no bliss the crusaders to no avail, as the water was not there: no the well in the village dried up quickly.

Per night Salah al-DIN surrounded the crusaders on Chastinskom hill. A Christian soldiers and Pesci, and even knights, – suffering from thirst and realizing the hopelessness his position, went to the Sultan, which gave them quite a warm welcome.

At dawn the Sultan's soldiers set fire to the bushes around the positions of Christians and the suffering from thirst increased choking from the acrid smoke. Under cover of this smoke the Mohammedans started to attack from all sides.

At the same time with this, the desperate crusaders went on break. But to break only managed to count Raymond Tripoli, who was lucky to hook into the gap between the advancing troops of Salah ad-DIN. At that time to happen: the breakthrough came just in the direction of the train of the Sultan's troops. And when the train was the harem.

In the unit Raymond was three hundred mounted knights, and even more. If they all hit the baggage train and harem, it would be the end. But, fortunately, stood near the high and a lavishly decorated tent of Salah ad-DIN. The tent was empty: the Sultan was in front of the army. But count Raymond did not know, and with most of his knights rushed to the tent. The convoy popped up, probably about fifty equestrians. Realizing that the prey they take no time, they rushed to the Sultan's harem, deciding if you do not win and not rich, then at least to shame the Sultan, capturing or killing his wives and concubines.

Salah ad-DIN saw from the hill what danger threatens his harem, and started to unwrap one from his mounted regiments. But he had not time. The guards and servants of the harem were alone against fifty knights Raymond.

We, the eunuchs, could immediately to rebuff those knights, since we were much, much more than all of them. Forty people mounted armed guards and about the same servants in carts and on camels. But when the chief guard of the harem Iksan saw us, kicking up dust, carried mounted knights in heavy weapons, he coward, spurred his horse and galloped away, dragging the guard. A servants, including Malik, also ran after him on their camels. About carts with screaming women remained twenty unarmed servants. In fact me.

Although I had already pretty fat and flabby, but not even thought of ignominious flight. Well, just did not occur: after all, I was raised as a warrior, and it gave about you know. I shouted at the servants, the harem, to put the cart in a circle, and were loosing shafts and fought them. Women, I was told to stand in the middle circle. I as rylstim Prince used to command the troops, and my voice was still strong, it just started to appear shrill Scorcese notes. So my team heard and began to perform.

I also untied the shafts from one of the wagons, grabbed her at the ready like a spear and rushed on his camel to meet the enemy. Yes, father Nicephorus, I understand that the crusaders were Christians, although the Latin persuasion. But still at that moment for me they were just enemies, since I was forced to fight them. You were a warrior, and needs to understand me.

It was important to me at least few minutes to hold the Latins, until the wagon stood in a circle. Me rushed some more servants with the shafts. Camel – not a horse, to manage it in battle is difficult, it is less fast and less agile. But in the battle head-on our biggest and heavy camels proved to be an advantage over the tired steeds of the knights. To fortunately for us, none of the crusaders were not copies, only swords.

I rested my shaft in the saddle and sent it like a javelin in front of the knight. Strike and Crusader fell from his horse. By the way, later I found out that it was the count, brother of Raymond Tripoli. Since the knights had built the line, I immediately flew his camel to him in the rear. The same thing you tried to do racing for me eunuchs. Those who could not immediately dislodge the knights of the seats were knights in the time convergence killed them with swords. But more than half of us still broke in the rear enemy.

However, I turned the camel and attacked the knights from behind. Same for me and others eunuchs. We started to beat the enemies shafts and to knock off the horses, one I even he broke his shaft. The Latins turned to deal with us, but we let our camels at a gallop along their system, and they are on their tired horses could not follow us to keep up. During this time carriages already stood in the circle. And here Salah-ad-DIN arrived with his regiment of horse, and the knights took to flight, and Sam Raymond, and others.

And so it happened that I saved the Sultan's harem from defeat, and Salah-ad-DIN – the shame.

Then, in the heat of battle, the Sultan said nothing to me. Seeing that the harem was safe, he just waved me by the hand again, turned his horse regiment and went to finish the main force the crusaders still fought on Chastinskom hill.

Soon came fleeing security. Iksan drove to the harem, and as if nothing had happened began to lead rebuilding carts, placement in the place of the women of the shafts, scattered things.

Returned and Malik. First, he long explained Guzun furious that his running takes him camel, and he was not able to deploy a crazed animal. Then an Indian came up to I said I would be careful to operate the shaft, and it broke, and he now does not know how to replace it. So I deserve punishment but he will think and maybe will forgive me, as I am still a good job showed.

Here is a tricky and dishonest man he was. And the most unpleasant and shameful – that I have so subdued that I instead accuse him of cowardice, low bowed and humbly asked forgiveness for the broken shaft.

Meanwhile the battle on the hill had ended, the crusaders were totally defeated. Laid about half of them, three thousand managed to break through and disperse to surrounding castles and cities, the rest were captured. The fate of the prisoners was different: Renaud de Chatillon, the Sultan himself was beheaded with his sword, the other noble knights, and king guy de Lusignan, the Grand master of the knights Templar, Gerard de Redfor, was taken to Damascus, where they were to wait until their redemption. Crusaders of humble origin sold into slavery. What was the fate Of The Holy Cross? I do not know.

Evening the harem came to the messenger and ordered the security chief to arrive at the Sultan's tent. Iksan, uneasily, went there. I adjusted the canopy on the wagon Guzun, and Malik shouted at me and threatened still to punish the broken shaft.

Through some time the messenger came again and said that the Sultan requires a a eunuch who was saved from the harem of the knights of Raymond. Malik whispered that if I someone will say that it was me, then I'm screwed. Proudly puffed out his chest and walked away with messenger. This crafty person did not think that Salah ad-DIN saw me in the time of the battle, and I, I confess, I told this to Indian. However, he never asked.

Maybe if Malik was to me a little similar but the Sultan did not disclose his fraud, as he saw me only in passing. But the Indian did not look like a Russian, and his hair was black and I have light. So I was not surprised when again the messenger came and loudly proclaimed that the Sultan is looking for a hero and not fleeing from the battlefield cowards. Then I came forward.

Dusty, simple clothes of a servant, I went to Salah ad-DIN. I confess, my heart trembled.

I was introduced to the tent. I fell to the ground, as it should be for a slave before the Sultan, but he told me to stand up and hugged me that in the East is one of the highest honors. Salah ad-DIN asked who I was and got the answer that the Russian Prince Boris: in the harem I was called at the baptismal name, how to pronounce "Svyatoslav" was too difficult for Arabs.

Sultan surprised that the Prince fulfills the duties of a servant, granted me the freedom and made in AGI – in the East it is a high title, like Baron. Write me honorary nickname – Battal-Rus, which means "Russian hero." And put me on place of Iksan – the chief of the security of the harem, first assistant chief eunuch.

Since before that, he gave me freedom and made Agha, Salah ad-DIN has not commanded, and asked me to stay in the harem, and to lead his guards to the end of the campaign, and then if I want to go. I could only bow his head.

Then the Sultan ordered lead Malik and Iksan. He was already known that they fled, leaving the harem in the lurch. And even more pissed that Malik tried his cheat.

These eunuchs tried to say something in his defense, but Salah ad-DIN did not even bother to listen and told to execute them "through the place that they showed the enemy." The meaning of the words of the Sultan was clear: cowards waited planted on a stake. However, in the desert, the stakes had to take nowhere, therefore, the Sultan's executioners just brought Iksan and Malik outside camp, stuck them in these same places a spear and left to die.

I, according to knight rules, led horses, and brought the armor knocked me from the saddle of the crusaders, and later I also got for them a considerable ransom, is among them had a brother Raymond Tripoli.

I remember when I came out of the Sultan's tent, I repeated myself accidentally this phrase: "was the servant began Agha".

That's how much has changed in my life after the battle of Hattin. As for the Latin States in the Holy Land this battle can be said to have sounded the death knell. Lost crucial the battle led to the fact that in the Christian towns left almost no experienced warriors and noble knights who could establish and lead the defense. A mighty fortress walls were, as expressed, we have in the harem, empty shell nuts. And since most of the population of these towns were Muslim, the transfer of power to Salah ad-DIN does not threaten the artisans and merchants, and theynot in a hurry to defend their strongholds.

In for several weeks the Moslems took control of Beirut, Sidon, Aqrah, The Caesarea, Jaffa, Ascalon (now Ashkelon – approx. transl.). You surprised that the Sultan's troops so quickly passed from city to city? So in Palestine the same all around, in length from North to South – the whole of the Holy Land about the same as the distance from Novgorod-Seversky to the Kursk. And wide two times less.

To fall in the hands of the crusaders remained only in Jerusalem, tyre, Tripoli, and a couple of cities. All of these towns have been besieged since August.

All this time I traveled with a harem for the Sultan's army. From Iksan I got a big the wagon and as many servants, how many have I had in the campaigns, even when I was a Russian Prince. Well, with the duties of the chief of the harem for me to handle it was not difficult: the experience of the reign of the Rylsk gift was missing.

And here it was a rainy day for all Christians: Salah-al-DIN took Jerusalem. It was in the beginning of October.

Before proceed to the siege of the city, the Sultan offered it to the defenders to surrender on honorable terms, inviting the Christians to freely be removed from the Holy City wherever they want to. Those, despite the fact that experienced soldiers among them almost it was not, refused. The defense led the old knight Balian Belinski, the former at the battle of Hattin and broke through the encirclement with Raymond Tripoli.

A few the attempted attack failed. Then the Sultan commanded to begin to dig under towers, and cleverly arranged so that excavation works learned defenders city. Those, and so was in fear and desperation, and when he learned that the towers them the fortress is about to collapse, decided to surrender. As far as I know, this the decision was influenced by the outbreak in the city of strife between the Latins and Orthodox.

Baleen Belinsky came to Salah ad-DIN. The Sultan received him graciously, but tightened conditions of delivery: Christians, before leaving the city, had to pay a considerable ransom. I had nowhere to go, the crusaders agreed.

Already next day from the city pulled the mournful procession of several dozen thousands of people led by the Patriarch and Queen Sibylla. Dispersed Christians who where many died along the way, many became the prey of robbers, and the city Tripoli, for example, generally closed gate in front of them, accusing that they betrayed the Holy Sepulchre.

Curious what is most fortunate for those who went to Egypt on the land of Salah ad-DIN: the Mohammedans, on the orders of the Sultan provided them with protection and given the opportunity to sail on ships in Italy and France. I don't know why the Sultan was so generous: this really is in accordance with its concepts of honor, whether he hoped that it will rush a good rumor and he will remain in the memory of posterity noble "knight without fear and without reproach," as the Latins. However, what the difference is what motivated Salah ad-DIN? Whatever it was, he reached his goals:the crusaders have lost almost all of the Holy Land, in addition to the city of tyre, and felt for the Sultan, not anger and hatred, and truly chivalrous respect to a strong and worthy opponent.

To know if it hurts to look at the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem? I confess, I thought about it, though, of course sin: in my heart I always remained Orthodox, but any Christian should to suffer due to the fact that the temples of the Holy City converted into mosques. But my thoughts was busy: whether to use the freedom given to Salah ad-DIN, to leave the harem and go back home?

And I decided that it is not necessary. And it was not only and not so much that I would be ashamed to appear a eunuch in front of his wife Eudoxia. To cripple, especially the eunuchs, we have in Russia treated compassionately, but castrated the Prince would be equal to blinded and almost certainly would become an outcast, and that could hurt the princely rights of my sons. Do you think, father Nicephorus that I'm not too bad opinions about Russian? But I Russian, I know better. And remember from my childhood the phrase from the Bible: "who has crushed or cut Yatra genital member, can notenter into the congregation of the Lord." Which books, by the way? Exactly from Deuteronomy.

In any case my future in Russia looked very, very vague. In Damascus all it was much clearer. I held in the harem the second place after the elderly chief the eunuch of Abdelkarim, and if he died or retired, most of all, "the chief gatekeeper of the doors of happiness" I would. And it is very high state a position slightly below the Grand vizier. I remembered about many benefits associated with such a high position.

Of course, my powerful patron, Salah-al-DIN sooner or later would have died. But I already he was free, noble and rich man. Could even if you want to get married – well, at least for such a relationship, what were Guzun with Malik. To be honest, many young women believe that wealth can easily make up for the lack of family happiness. Yes, I agree with you that in our time this happens more and more often, and also see this as a dangerous corruption of manners. But so is this the sinful world in which rich is good and poor is bad.

But even the poorest of the Sultan's eunuchs, even eunuchs-the slaves after the death of the Lord is not go to work in the quarries, and pass by inheritance to the new the Sultan and serve at new harems, and in old age get a worthy content. The same applies to harem slaves.

Wives and concubines? Yes, in the event of the death of the Sultan it is worse than we, the eunuchs. All of them, except mothers of princes and princesses, are obliged to resettle in so-called "old harem", which is really like a prison. The women there don't use such benefits, during life of his master, the life around them dies, they useless and not interesting. However, the conclusion is not life: with age, usually in fifty years, they have the freedom and right to live in one many of the Sultan's estates outside the capital. And some even manageto get to the harem of the new Sultan was to educate the younger generation of concubines.

So me as a noble a rich eunuch and possible death of the Sultan was worried not more than, for example, during the reign of the Rylsk – death in Kiev or Chernigov Prince. And when the Sultan's army in the winter returned to Damascus, Salah ad-DIN called me and asked if I wanted to stay in his harem chief of security, I no hesitation agreed.

I received huge salary, he lived in splendid quarters that had been occupied by Iksan. The servants had almost more than in Rylsk. My name was so yeah Al-Battal-Rus Boris Ibn Oleg. However, I usually call short – Battal-yeah.

Taken prisoner by the knights have been redeemed, and I good-bye graciously returned them, and horses, and armor. However, in a deathbed confession it is a sin to embellish their dignity. Returned I not generous, but because knight's horses seemed to me too heavy and slow, and the armor didn't fit: I was too fat. Yes and not for free, I returned, and for a good ransom. And yet, when the knights brought them the horses, and they embraced them and wept, I too was deeply moved: he recalled his faithful and forever lost Nouradine. I would have paid anymoney to return it. But alas.

The horse I picked and bought himself – Arab, white, something similar to Nouradine, only larger, but I also since then became much larger. Called the horse Hattin – in honor of the battle, changed my destiny. To Gattino never treated like Nuradin, but still, when he sat, the soul was lighter. I went to the desert the outskirts of Damascus, looking for monotonous, dull landscape and remembered the wooded hills and flowing rivers around his native Rylsk.

I didn't hear father Nicephorus, whom I should have been afraid when he went around the town? Robbers? No, not afraid: I took a few men to guard them, and they humbly followed me in the distance, so as not to disturb my thoughts. And when our the cavalcade was flowing on the streets of Damascus, in front rode one of my assistants, eunuchs, shrilly demanded to disperse and give way, and passers-by bowed – I confess that I flattered his pride, what also needs to repent. After all in the East, by rulers and their entourage quite a different attitude than in Russia.Me in Rylsk, where I was the absolute arbiter of the destinies, so bowed, as in Damascus.

The chief eunuch of the Sultan's harem Abdelkarim was an old man, much older than Salah-al-DIN, and were good to me not even fathers and grandfathers. He treated me very well and is also valued my military valor. Gradually he ceased to meddle in my business and me completely trust, I am often helped him in all his Affairs.

Guzun first looked at me askance, because I was indirectly responsible for the death of her beloved Malika, but then got the same strange relationship with another an Indian eunuch and calmed down. In the end, I was also grateful for salvation at Hattin. So the "crown covered with burqa," I did not harm, on the contrary, often recalled that she used to have a servant himself, Battal Aga, and now that's how he moved, well done.

Of course, the life of the chief of the harem was not a total holiday. For example, on the debt service had to be punished, tortured, even executed. No, I didn't do it himself, but the executioner of the harem was at my disposal. And I confess, I even experienced a strange excitement, looking at the suffering of poor women, especially in boiling water or Cola, or much thieving slaves by order Guzun did "man-pig": his eyes gouged out, tongue cut out, hands chopped off the elbow, legs at the knees and left for dead in the barn.

Another excitement – just from the contemplation of female beauty – I've not experienced. Perhaps, castration was given itself felt more and more. Whenever I look at a beautiful woman, I recalled his injury, and I felt hurt at heart. What here love the excitement! Yes, father Nicephorus, thanks, I remembered the words of our Lord Jesus Christ about eunuchs. As there: "There are eunuchs who from the womb of obscene born so, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs of men and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven. Who can accept this shouldaccommodate". I do not just think of these words, but I confess, not together. Not given to me to understand that good is to be a eunuch, even the Sultan's harem, and take pleasure only from the misery and pain, but not from true love.

Yes, if I remembered true love, I must confess, I kind of love ruined. It was during the siege of Acre. No, not Mohammedans, and the crusaders.

You're not tired, dad Nicephorus? Get some rest, you're just a model of Christian patience, I never even thought that I at the end of life will be sent by the Lord so nice the Confessor. And I'm also a little take rest, drink water, gather his thoughts.



Part IV,

recorded Peter, a monk of the Abbey of St. Catherine in Riga


What is was year? The beginning of the so-called Third crusade? Yeah, ninety seventh (1189 – approx. transl.). In Palestine, they brought new forces the crusaders and laid siege to acre. Why they went to Damascus, to to catch him off guard, Salah-ad-DIN, did not expect an attack – I do not know. Apparently decided not to leave at the rear of the defenders of the coastal fortresses, and was hoping that the fortress would fall quickly. But the AKP has reflected the first blow, and then thanks to the continued assistance of the Sultan lasted almost three years.

Commanded crusaders still the same guy de Lusignan, whom the Sultan after the capture when Hattin released for a large ransom. Ki was able to cut the acre from coast. But the approaching army of Salah ad-DIN, in turn, surrounded the besiegers. And so it happened that Christians and Muslims formed around the Acres the two rings.

A big battle occurred only in the beginning of the siege, then the only opponents stood opposite other, trying to beat into submission. However, the battle was also more like attrition: all the shelves several times on each other, attacked, retreated, returned, and in the end remained in their places. Of the approximately fifteen thousand Christians and twenty thousand Mohammedans who participated in the battle, killed thousands of four. The most serious losses suffered by the Templars, first attacked the enemy. Even killed their Grand master, Gerard de Ridefor – the same which were captured when Hattin and then was redeemed.

In that battle the Mohammedans captured a few dozen knights, and in anticipation of redemption, put them in the train. These knights were given relative freedom, they only it was forbidden to marry outside ring of a guard at the camp. Marching a harem the Sultan, as usual, was in camp.

Salah ad-DIN often left the army and went to Damascus, then I went with him. Instead under cover your I left his assistant Ahmad, a tall Negro Sudanese about my age, one of those who at the battle of Hattin was not afraid and not ran after coward Iksan, and attacked the knights behind me with the shaft instead of spears.

Why am I not took an assistant of someone from the Russian? Yes, was in the harem and some Russian eunuchs: they are all the same as me, at different times captured nomads. But first, I didn't want to cause the unwanted harem rumors that I promote countrymen: at me and so many looked askance as a young upstart. Secondly, I'm not eager to chat with Russian: all of them was in origin and status in the harem, far below me, and too much has cut to the heart memories of home.

And once I came down with the Sultan and his followers from Damascus at acre. That night Salah ad-DIN tired and have not slept in the harem, and in his tent. Fell asleep in his tent and I, but in the night woke up: my sleep after castration at all deteriorated. And I decided, since I can't sleep, go check out the guards of the harem.

All the guards was in place, everyone was awake. Outwardly, everything was normal. Then I decided go inside the harem, among the tents of the women. And suddenly, in the silence of the night heard the thin cloth of one of the tents for men and women whisper. It was a tent Nina the youngest of "happy" that the Sultan took with him to the campaign.

I stopped and began to listen. They spoke in Latin: Nina was from a noble Georgian family, and before it was captured by Turks and sold to the harem received good education and knew a bit of the language.

God, what the words spoke to her man! I did not think that it is possible to declare his love. I after all, before the castration was the case with street girls or shy and quiet wife Eudoxia, or captives. Any of them no talking about love not required, you can immediately proceed to the well-known case.

Here everything it was not so. I even remember some of the words of knight: he was preparing for its cute a new life, in which countless kisses, it is forever forget the grief and sadness it will be for her a passionate prophet, they will look into each other's eyes and singing about love, and time will stop, so as not dare to stop their embrace. I can't tell you it had to hear.

She told him reciprocated. Interspersing the Latin, Arabic and Georgian words, whispered that Salah ad-DIN – a soulless tyrant, thinking only about the war, it divides it with dozens of other women who have never heard words of love, and dared not even to dream that to her, like in novels, comes a knight, although without the white horse.

He she said he at the family estate of a herd of horses, many of them, and and white, and they will ride them almost every day.

And they we agreed to run the next night. He already knew how to get past security harem and camps, how to get into the army of Christians, and where he was going with cute heart Nina to get on a ship and sent to his native France.

I could to save these sweethearts. Of course, if they fled then, when I was in marching a harem, then I would be punished by the Sultan. However, this punishment is unlikely it would be very strict: for example, if the deceased Iksan concubine once fled of the harem with a young warrior, and the security chief escaped a month in prison on the bread and water that even went in his favor, as he could barely walk from obesity. But I could generally avoid punishment: it was enough in the morning under some pretext to go to Damascus, leaving behind Ahmad. And ifthe lovers fled, with Ahmad asked would I, and would come up to him some easy, perhaps even a symbolic punishment.

At first I and wanted to do. "Whoever saves one person, saves the world": childhood heard it before, but forgot where it came from. I do not remember, father Nicephorus? Yes, exactly some Jewish sacred books. And because I was able to save and to make happy not one person, but two!

But overpowered – what do you think? The sense of duty of the chief of the harem guard? Feeling thanks to put me in my place of Salah ad-DIN? No, nothing like that. If it was, to me and to repent would not be worth that I have given these unfortunates. No, overpowered the feeling of envy to the knight who had all the shameful part on the place was truly love, in any case, left to go home after receiving ransom, and then was going to run even without ransom, and with handsome young a Georgian.

And I made the act, which is still a bitter regret: called security. In a minute my the eunuchs dragged the lovers out of the tent. Apparently knight didn't want to touch Nina to escape and wedding and they were not naked. But her face was open, and East, if a married woman showed the face of the other man, it is considered the same adultery, as if she was with him, has sinned. The more "happy" concubine of the Sultan.

By dawn I already learned, no torture required. Nina was bored in his tent, and one day she decided that wearing the veil one of his slaves to walk around the camp to go to the water source. Guard of the harem missed it, as thought dress that it is a slave. And she met this prisoner knight: he is also walking through the camp. He spoke to her, and since he was young, tall, slim and beautiful, liked. Actually not expected the man to start talking strange woman, but he helped her carry the water, and with it,the Sultan's soldiers did not have the suspicion may be that the noble prisoner was so punished to help the slaves. So they Nina met. She showed him where her tent, and he overnight snuck in there past the harem guards. The same happened the next night, and the next. That last night I caught them.

In the morning I went into the tent to Salah ad-DIN and told me. He took everything calmly – at least externally. Thanked me for my vigilance and did not Express any claims, as on those nights when the knight began to visit the tent of Nina, I was in Damascus. Sultan said was that I myself was punished inattentive guards as you see fit. Then he ordered to introduce Nina and the knight, whose name was, as it turned out, Hugh de of Anteni.

Nina fell to the Sultan in the legs and begged to let her go with her lover, promising forever bless mercy master. Hugo also bowed, though not at his feet, and with dignity, and said, that as his Majesty has hundreds of concubines, and he asks to give him one of them not to destroy love, sacred to any true knight. After all, the rumor about chivalry of Saladin goes around the world of God.

The Sultan listened in silence, then he asked for a good Latin if Hugh de of Antenli to live with Nina, yet death will not separate them: such questions are usually asked by the priests at the wedding. Hugo confirmed. Then Salah ad-DIN said let it be, blood is not shed, he gives Nina the knight Hugo, and they will be together until death do will separate them.

Those brightened and their smiles I will never forget. In the novels usually ends with the Prince imbued with respect to the high and pure love, forgives and releases the lovers, they marry and live happily ever after. And chivalrous appearance of Salah al-DIN, sung Mohammedan, and Christian novelists quite let it go.

But novels are one thing, but life – is quite another. When the lovers are warmly thanked Sultan and out of tent, tenderly holding each other's hands, the Lord told me that I should know what they do to adulterous women. I asked whether understand this same fate and the knight of Hugo. Salah-ad-DIN replied, "You heard what they should be together until death. But I promised not to shed blood."

And unfaithful wives and concubines the harem was usually waiting for such a fate: to be either impaled or alive buried in the ground. Because the Sultan commanded not to shed blood, I ordered to dig a deep hole. Hugo and Nina, who had not managed to go far from the Sultan's tent, grabbed, tied up, put in the pit and buried. When they realized that waiting for them, met their fate with dignity. Lying on the bottom of the pit, they asked to untie their hands, embraced, and stony Palestinian land, which they fell asleep, never stirred.

I beg you, father Nicephorus, as a servant of the Lord, to forgive this sin to me, a miserable angry the apostate.

And the war, meanwhile, went on as course. Two years later, the crusaders brought new reinforcements headed the English king Richard, nicknamed the Lion Heart, and the AKP still fell: Salah-ad-DIN, fearing encirclement, retreated. Four troops of half-rings each around the other – the defenders of Acre, guy de Lusignan, the Sultan, and even Richard, that was would be too much, such military science is not yet known.

Richard Lionheart did not go to Jerusalem, and I think is quite reasonable: the surprise he still wouldn't have reached, and wanted to first clear the Muslims of the coastal strip and protect your rear. And the king marched from Acre on the South side Ascalon. Salah ad-DIN followed him at some distance from the coast, blocking his path deep into Palestine, Damascus and Jerusalem.

It was in the summer, and Richard, remembering the lesson of the battle of Hattin, he understood that his army more all will suffer from heat and thirst. So moved it slowly, only in the morning hours, making frequent stops near the sources. A strong Navy the crusaders followed in the same direction, playing the role of a troop convoy.

Have you ever been to The Holy Land, father Nicephorus? No chance? Well, then, maybe you will it is interesting to know that Palestine is not all desert, between Work and Ascalon are marshy forests, which, although quite similar to local, but still provide cover for the troops. (The idea of these woods gives reserve "Haberski forest" in Israel – approx. transl.). Of these forests in moving along the sea shelf, Richard constantly attacked lightly Muslim horsemen. But the crusaders were moving in strict military formation, hiding behind shields and firing from a crossbow, and either break them or scare, nor to starve.

Then the Sultan decided to give a great battle. It happened in September near the old fortress Arsuf, near Jaffa. Next to this fortress, the forest receded inland mile two. There we met the troops. Salah ad-DIN built their shelves the forest, king of England – from the sea. The forces were about equal, thousands of thirty.

Sultan prudent told me to stay with the harem in the woods. I sat on my white horse Hattin have both the wagon and watched from afar the battle.

Richard The Lionheart stood on the defensive, and it was the most sensible decision on his part, as Salah ad-DIN could not go to him in the rear and surround: prevented sea. All new and the new Sultan's regiments, like the waves rolled heavily in the build knights, but then retreated, suffering heavy losses.

Then Salah ad-DIN used a favorite Oriental method – feigned retreat. It helped: the monastic orders of knights rushed forward, followed by the other crusaders. The Sultan immediately deployed troops, and the battle turned into a counter. Success he not brought any of the parties, and Salah-ad-DIN, finally realizing that Richard him not to break it, ordered blow retreat. The shelves turned and went into the forest.

Forces in pursuit from the Latins were gone. But we can assume that the victory was for them. Their loss was only about a thousand people vs several thousand of our, Yes, exactly, I was in the army of the Sultan. The legend about the invincibility of Salah ad-DIN was dispelled, moreover, it has since hesitated to impose Richard the decisive battle.

I for the whole of the battle of Arsuf gave none of the women and eunuchs to go with carts and camels, and thus was able to quickly deploy a harem and leave behind Salah ad-DIN. At that moment I noticed one of the "happy". Horses, harnessed to her carriage, stubborn, and the driver saw the approaching army the crusaders were confused. Then she leaned out from under the canopy, pushed the driver of the wagon, bade him take the horses by the bridle, and she grabbed the reins. Together they quickly apply their horses and followed by all. I hadn'tknew who she was: all women were in burqas, the wagon was also similar, and once I was interested in. Just said to myself that it is well done.

In the same September Richard the Lionheart took surrendered without resistance Jaffa, turned deep into the Holy Land and besieged Jerusalem. Even captured part of the city. But Salah-ad-DIN, adding to his army, blocked the crusaders message the coast, and the king realized that he could repeated the story of the Work, when guy de Lusignan was sandwiched between the city and the army of the Sultan. Only under Work Christians supplied their Navy, but here, among the high hills of Jerusalem, the army Richard risked to be doomed to starvation. So the king departed from the Holy City.

The winter passed. In the summer seven hundredth year (1192 – approx. transl.) Richard was forced to return to the coast, as Salah ad-DIN began to reconquer the coastal town. The king tried to prevent him, captured Askalon, lifted the siege Jaffa, but Jerusalem and could not. Negotiations began, and the first day seven hundred and one (according to the Byzantine calendar, the year starts on September 1 so, we are talking about 1 September 1192 – approx. transl.) it was concluded a truce for three years. The Holy City remained in the hands of the Sultan, but of Christian the pilgrims were allowed to visit the Holy Sepulchre. For crusaders left the coastline from tyre to Jaffa.

So the war was over. Richard was soon forced to sail back to England, where began some strife. Salah ad-dīn settled in Damascus, so that I too. And the Sultan, and the old Abdelkarim, and Guzun was pleased with me, everything was going well.

And then appeared in my life the woman. Yes, the German Mathilde von Ammendorf. In the Imperial harem, she got back in the ninety-eighth (1190 – approx. transl.), and how I accidentally found out this was the same "happy" which is so a good rule of horses, when we were retreating after the battle of Arsuf.

But without the veil I saw her only at the beginning of the first seven hundred (in the autumn of 1192 approx. transl.), when we all peacefully lived in the Damascus Palace. She was small in stature, not too fat and not too lean, fully consistent then on the East ideals of the female figure: in the harem the Almighty Sultan Salah al-DIN anyhow what kind of women did not fall. She was on ten, no, eight years younger than me, that is, in the seven hundredth year she was about seventeen. Her eyes were green, hair – blond, beautiful and smooth tone, than she immediately reminded me of the wife Evdokia.

Yes, father Nicephorus, of course, inside the harem women could walk in any form, and without the veil, and with bare head. From us, the eunuchs, they do not concealed, we often could see many of them naked even when they swam in the large pool, and then didn't take the trouble to get dressed to walk to his chambers.

The second time I drew attention to Matilda, when concubines, a quarrel broke out. Due what these women had an argument, I do not remember, but that didn't matter: in the harem of such a quarrel constantly arose because of a trifle. It was in a big hall where going probably women ten to fifteen. I walked through the security posts, and suddenly I heard the screams from the audience. Ran there. Two concubines grabbed each other in hair, a few women beat them and each other. The rest clung to the walls.

I fear punishment demanded to stop the fight, but everyone was screaming so loud that I was one not heard. Then Matilda stood at the wall and looked at all of this mess, I grabbed a big tub with water and poured over the fighters. I have to say, the bucket was heavy, not every man could easily raise it and so far out.

Having a cold shower, women scattered in the corners, hissing like cats. Matilda came to me, bowed and said, "My Lord, now things will settle down and not need to punish anyone". Indeed, the women calmed down and a few minutes have already discussed a completely different subject.

I noticed she turned to me "my Lord", "happy" so I rarely called mainly – "Battal Aga", or simply "eunuch". I must admit, this the treatment of the Germans flattered me.

And then this the woman more than once, as if by chance met me in the hallway, bowed and said: "Hello, my Lord." Until very recently, I didn't realize it immediately, as they say, has his eye on me, as the security chief of the harem is perfectly suited for the execution of its plans.

And then there was a story with diamond Guzun. It was a huge stone that "crown covered with burqa" liked to wear on his forehead, although he has finally eclipsed her gray appearance. And now he was gone. The day I interviewed two other wives, slaves, concubines, and eunuchs, but no one knew anything and didn't see who snuck in to the room of the "crown". Was going to question further, though, and realized that it was useless.

And then to me Matilda came in and said that on the day of the disappearance of a diamond saw in my the room went and then came a woman in a red veil with white fringe. I remembered that this veil was only Zainab, one of the concubines, who were once "happy", but then the Sultan to it cooled. Then Matilda warned me that I need to look for the diamond in their chambers, and Zeinab allegedly said that something evil keeps on Battal-AGU, and maybe she gave me this diamond to him I found and thought it I stole.

I went through room and found under his bed diamond "crown". And remember that Zainab was a reason to be mad at me: a year ago she told me some rude, I complained Guzun, and she commanded to beat her with sticks on the soles of his feet. No, father Nicephorus, I had no right to appoint Zainab punishment: along with the "main the gatekeeper of the doors of happiness" by Abdelkarim I had the right to punish slaves and eunuchs Sultan's wives – a common concubines and the wives and happy – only yourself Sultan.

Then I don't thought that Zainab could not wait two days to tell Guzun, I stole the diamond, and to destroy me. I immediately called the guard and asked, came to me in my absence, a woman in a red veil with white fringe. One of the guards saw what came. And I decided that Matilda told the truth.

The diamond was returned Guzun. Zainab was tortured, she first denied everything, but when it became massage into the delicate feminine places a solution of hot pepper – the same that used in my castration, – she confessed. She was executed – however, not very fiercely. Tied up, put on the neck with a wet leather belt and put it in the sun. Strap dried, tightened and strangled the unfortunate.

A lot decades, I was sure that Matilda really saved me then. And just yesterday I realized that Zainab was innocent, that the wily intriguer have to wear the same veil as Zainab, or slowly her this the veil was borrowed and handed me the diamond, then to get to my confidence with the loss of innocent souls. Don't know, father Nicephorus, I am Lee sin the deaths of Zainab, or a full on Matilda? Or is it generally not considered a sin, because the deceased was not a Christian? Yes, you're right, not worth it now to go into difficult theological questions.

Anyway, that moment began a friendship with Matilda. She often visited me, we drank coffee and talked. This friendship was normal for many of the eunuchs and concubines and anybody did not raise suspicions, since all the eunuchs in the Sultan's harem was fully castrated. I was told it's called "sandals", unlike "filibe". All wore turbans of the same tube as me. Some of these the tube was even gold, with patterns. I too would get to make himself a the gold tube instead of silver, but it was frustrating once again this to think.

I soon then seemed to know all about Matilda. She was born and lived in Jerusalem, was the daughter of a German Baron von jörg Immendorff, mother was German. Her father was killed in the battle of Hattin. After you log in, Salah ad-DIN in Jerusalem all Christians, as I already told you, out of the city, and she with her mother is also gone, but where to go? Decided to go to the shooting range, where lived an uncle of Matilda, knight of the Temple. The safe was the way through the tenure of Salah ad-DIN to Egypt, from where it was to get to Fira on the ship. But they, like many refugees from Jerusalem,prefer a short way on foot. Directly.

But a short road – not always the safest. The mournful procession stretched for many miles, guard almost there was no, and there was a prowling band of robbers, and at every opportunity the fact they snatched away their belongings, then took them into the wilderness. Dragged and Matilda mother.

Mother Matilda long raped in front of daughter and lustful villains were so many that the poor Baroness von Immendorf broke and gave to God a soul. Remember I sympathized with such misery, firmly believed in all these stories, and listened to open-mouthed, as a twelve year old Matilda also wanted to rape her, but the leader the robbers said that since she is young, beautiful and virginal, the better profitable to sell her to the harem.

So she was in Damascus in the slave market, was converted to Islam three years grew at some of the merchant-Turk, supplying women in harems. Because she had the noble origin and good education, he decided to make it the concubine of the highest level. Continued training in the various Sciences and arts, then sold to the Sultan. Its still some time preparing for the pleasures of Salah-al-DIN, and at sixteen she was "happy".

Sixteen years – not earlier, in the harems were much younger, but Salah ad-DIN was a penchant for smart and educated women. He even had long conversations with his wives and concubines, devoted them – of course, in the most General terms – in the Affairs of state, and told them stories. We, the eunuchs, even joked, what is the ideal Sultan was Tawaddud of the famous Arabian tale (now this the tale is included in "1000 nights" – approx. transl.). There the Caliph asked a great a concubine named Tawaddud, what science she knew, and she replied, "sir, I know grammar, poetry, laws, interpretation of the Qur'an, are familiar with the music, and account and division, and surveying business, and history. I know the great Quran and read it according to the seven, ten or fourteen readings, and know the number of his sur and poetry and its parts, and the number drops down. I know the number of letters in the Qur'an, and the Meccan verses and Medina, and the reasons for their revelation. I know the Holy tradition, supported and unsupported. I studied the Sciences, and geometryand philosophy and medicine and logic and rhetoric, and memorized much of theology. In short, I came to know that only wise".

I seem to have become ramble. Why do I remember this? Where is this coming from? I have not read or not listening to these stories for many decades. That not only POPs up in memory before death! And even, you see, I gave words Tawaddud in Russian, although in fact, these tales in Arabic.

Matilda was deserve to be talked about as "Tawaddud Sultan Salah ad-DIN". It knew Arabic, the language we in Palestine and spoke. More mastered Latin and Greek, and much better than me. Even Turkish, which I don't have time to learn: the journey of Sarkel in Zonguldak on the ship Farhad and stay in Zonguldak was too short, besides, I'm there almost no contact with the Turks.

This woman first called me "my Lord", but then I offered to my name, and she liked the name "Joe" that I, again, was a pleasure. And when I told her explained that the Russian title of Prince roughly corresponds to the German Dukes or the electors, she called me "the Duke Svyatoslav", pronouncing the name softly and gently "Swiatoslaw". However, she never tried to flirt with me, and the more to seduce: I understand that this only infuriated me, like many other eunuchs. Some, however, things liked, and sooner or later theyengage in some kind of perverse relations with women of the harem, as once Malik with Guzun.

I was it's nice that Matilda has always been smooth, helpful, calm. She's got nothing asked for, never used our friendship to gain her the influence of the harem or some other things.

And I became her to trust, and soon paid for that trust, my position is senior eunuch of the Sultan's harem suddenly changed to the position of the fugitive and exile. Life had to start again almost anew. I have to tell you, father Nicephorus, as it were.

I think you know that Sultan Salah ad-DIN was guarded very carefully, especially in the harem, where he was relaxed and not thinking about protection. Around the harem were two rings of protection – internal, consisting of eunuchs, and external – the Sultan's guard. Inside harem armed eunuchs stood to each corridor. About the fact that all the dishes served the Lord, repeatedly auditioned, and I do not say auditioned in General, all food entering the harem, even if it had there is no Sultan, and slave women.

Large caution was taken and at the entrance "happy" in the bedroom of the Sultan. The chosen female had the right to enter to Salah ad-DIN himself or "main the gatekeeper of the doors of happiness" Abdelkarim, or I, and only in rare cases when we were both away, it was allowed to do Ahmad.

Our duty was at the entrance to the bedroom to search "happy", if she had of a weapon or vial of poison. Women are not even allowed to enter the Sultan with hairpins in her hair, because these studs could put out eyes, and kill, sticking in the ear. If we the woman's behavior seemed suspicious, we could even to demand that she strip naked, and explore it fully, including the most hidden places. Were so "happy" that so did not cause we trust that we immediately asked them to undress, lie down and pushfeet. These measures were justified because we had a case where years a hundred ago, the concubine of the Emir of Baghdad was placed inside a shoemaker's awl tip out. The Emir, engaging with her in intimacy, was wounded in the most vulnerable and sensitive spot, from the terrible pain became defenseless, and she thrust the same awl his heart. And then she had to Zabolotna, while the guards, aroused the cries of the Emir, was running.

You surprised, father Nicephorus, why am I so easily tell these unsightly details? Of course, the sin is mine, but I had to know all this and consider this was my job. Where the gospel says: "Every worker is worthy of his wages"? Yes, St. Luke. Work in the harem were, of course, so-so, but the rewards after all, no I did not get, in addition to life of the humiliated exile.

That night as I remember, in early March, seven hundred and one (1193 – approx. transl.) Salah-ad-DIN came to the harem and wished to spend the night with German Mathilde. I brought her to the Sultan's bedchamber. Search it, the more stripped naked, not was uncomfortable it was to Express disbelief after the friendly conversations we had. Besides, she was already considered last checked: Sultan invited her quite often, just before it turned out that she was brought to him that Abdelkarim, Ahmad.

By entering Matilda to Salah ad-DIN, I retired to the neighbouring bedchamber, the room where spent the night, if the Sultan was in the harem: in such cases, my duty was to be close to the Lord. Near the door of the bedroom left guard.

Soon my walked Matilda. I was surprised: this has never happened. Why Sultan it immediately released? Why the guard didn't tell me about it? But it is so calmly asked him to listen to her and think well before something to do that I sat down and began to listen.

She told me that mortally hated Salah al-DIN ever since, when he caused the deaths of her parents: father – at the battle of Hattin, the mother – during the Exodus from Jerusalem. In his the fault turned her into slavery and turned into a toy for the Sultan's pleasures. And this villain she was forced to give up her virginity!

"And here godless Mohammedan finally got what he deserved: I stabbed him like black sheep. Revenge not only for himself, but for outraged the Holy Cross, and for many thousands of Christians affected by this monster. Including for you, Duke Svyatoslav, godless harem eunuchs for the sake of entertainment. And if you call the guard and turn me in, then we'll execute it together: you're me missed in the Sultan's bedroom with a dagger, and not with someone else's, and with yours: remember you had a dagger with a Golden snake on the arm? Here he was, stained with the blood ofvillain. So come along with me to the shooting range, where my uncle lived, and we shall be saved. You a good Christian, what God had cursed Islam converts were, like me, against will, so why would you sacrifice your life for a sent to hell wrong?" – so told me Matilda.

Indeed, I remembered that I was a small dagger from its rich gun collection, to which I was entitled as the security chief of the harem. Me enraged that a German stole it from me, but on the other hand, I feel obligated to this woman after the story of Zainab. No particular attachment to godless Salah ad-DIN, especially to his harem, I have not experienced: Sultan me although elevated, but this elevation was still to do with my terrible injury, which I did not forget even for a minute. So, I confess, in my heart I evenit was great to hear about the death of the Sultan. And most importantly – to go I really I had no choice. So I said Yes. It is a sin or not – I don't know. Yes, let this is judged by the Lord.

I looked at the Sultan's bedroom. I'm a warrior, and what he saw there though is etched in my memory, but I confess, special thrill in me did not cause, although the sight was very unsightly. Everything was spattered with blood, like a slaughterhouse, and in the middle lay the body of Salah ad-DIN unnaturally upturned head: Matilda slit his throat, contriving itself to avoid stepping in the blood. When I then asked why she just didn't hit the Sultan with a dagger in the heart, she explained when this strike happens, that person is still some time remains alive. Itis the Sultan could scream and call security. And when you cut the throat it could only to wheeze, choking on his own blood and listening to the last curse the Germans.

Nearby face down lay the guard: Matilda after the murder of the Sultan looked out into the corridor, called him up, stabbed and dragged inside the bedroom. In the morning had to change the guard, the disappearance of a security guard would show up, and soon would we know about the murder of Salah ad-DIN. Perhaps, earlier dawn. But two hours three we had.

We went to my chambers. The guards, as expected, stood in all the corridors, but no one I have nothing dared to ask, all just bowed: you never know where it leads the security chief of one of the concubines? On the way we stopped by her, and she took with two burqa – a simple, low-key colors without any decorations. And a long rope, woven from scraps of curtains. It turns out that all she have prepared in advance.

She said already devised a plan of escape, and nothing more is not necessary to take, only asked I grab all the gold and diamonds that I have. I must say, the purse we have very weighty. No weapons except the dagger with a a gold snake, we did not take.

I explained German, that in the harem we will go anywhere, but stand outside the Sultan's posts guard, and leave us not succeed. But she said that we need to get on the back the yard, and there we're gonna go under the Palace wall. I said that the towers are the soldiers, and all the walls are, we'll notice. But it turns out, and here already thought of it.

We went to back yard, she took off her clothes, not to interfere, took in the teeth of the dagger tied around his waist the rope and climbed not on the wall, and directly into the tower, where he stood guard. I could not imagine that it is possible to climb up high a steep wall, clinging to almost invisible joints in the masonry. Even in the dark sky shined only a thin month. And still she climbed. Then on top of to me fell the rope by which I climbed to the top. I must say, for my of obesity this was given to me, especially since I was loaded down with clothesand the Treasury. Somewhere in the middle I felt that to continue to climb can't. It understood and began to pull the rope. And where did this fragile young woman turned out to be so hard? She pulled me to the tower as big fish out of water!

At the top of the tower lay the murdered security guard. With other towers did not notice anything, everything was quiet. It he throws the rope to the other side, and I went down on a dark desert the street behind the Sultan's Palace. For me she descended. To my surprised the question is, where did she learn to climb, she didn't answer.

We put the burqa and walked away from the Palace. It turned out that Matilda knows Damascus, and she led me up the narrow streets in poor urban quarter. Exit we tried, as the gates were still closed for the night, and to climb over the walls was impossible: the dawn breaks and the guards immediately I would have noticed.

On the streets people began to appear. She approached the stranger and told him that we a pilgrim from Aleppo, lost, tired and please tell where to find the shelter for a few days, ready to pay well. After half an hour we for some insignificant the money was given a room in the big house.

And Matilda, and I realized though after the death of Salah ad-DIN and a normal start for the Eastern despotism strife among the heirs, but the Grand vizier, and the chief the Sultan's guard, and old but clever the chief eunuch of the harem Abdelkarim throw all forces to find the killers. And the heirs will surely be United in the desire to avenge the death of the Sultan.

Therefore, we do not surprised that already in the morning at all city gates were double guards, among which were women. Why women? In order to look under the burqa anyone who wants to leave Damascus. This measure was not new: in the East the criminals often used the opportunity to change a woman to hide the face and to obtain immunity. Therefore, in the Damascus guard and served a lot of women who owned the weapons are not worse than men.

The guards at the city the walls have also reinforced the guards now stood at two, and Matilda could not to arrange a flight from Damascus as made a flight from the Sultan's Palace.

The following day the heralds announced the death of Salah ad-DIN is supposedly from a fever. Colorful painted the details of his death, told how the Sultan slowly went out, said goodbye to the dignitaries, with their wives, gave final instructions children. With Matilda we would laugh, hearing these stories are fictional some court poets, but it was no laughing matter: greater protection from city gates and walls remained.

We had to figure out how to get out of Damascus. And Matilda came up.

A few days I went to the mosque and said that I lost a friend. Of course, come under a view of women. My voice after castration became shrill, body shape it is quite feminine. So even the most attentive Mullah would not know me a man under the burqa.

I hired a funeral procession, a well paid to the dead are not simply buried in the ground, and put in the cell – tomb in the cave, the entrance to which is pushed a great stone. Something like a crypt. From the mosque brought tobut – stretchers with sliding cover. Portraying inconsolable friend, I'll put her in a burial shroud and put it in tobut to no one when you tap it didn't feel the heat body and breath of life.

Tobut with crying made outside of the city – in a large cemetery. The guards at the gate did not to see a funeral procession.

Put tobut, as expected, head in the direction of the Kaaba, the main Shrine of the Mohammedans. I lowered his imaginary dead in the tomb, women in the funeral procession held over her the veil that the men did not look at her shroud. Everyone threw in a handful of the crypt of the earth with the words: "we All belong to Allah and return to him." Mullah said a prayer, then the entrance to the crypt slid shut with a rock. All gone, I'm the only one under the guise of a grieving friend left to read so-called "talkin lies" – words, which, as infidels, Mohammedans, should facilitate the dead questioning by angels in Munkara and nakira.

The evening the cemetery was deserted. I rolled back the stone, Matilda got out. I was afraid she hadn't suffocated, but, thank God, nothing happened. The stone we returned to place.

I have in the morning going to the funeral, wearing one veil over the other, then one to take off his German: in the same burial shroud she had to go. The Treasury was also in front of me.

Matilda somehow knew where in the Damascus suburbs sold camels. The next morning we went back and bought two, best. No money spared: they had so that would be enough probably for the whole herd. Stocked up and food and water. And went on the road.

About the way we had a violent altercation. We had to go to the shooting range, where lived her uncle – knight of the Temple. This city is located to the southwest of Damascus, according to Russian pretty close, a little more than a hundred miles. But between these cities lies a great mountain range (Hermon – approx. transl.) and in March, the mountains still snow. We had a choice: either go directly through the mountains, unfamiliar snow-covered mountain passes or along the mountains to the Mediterranean the coast, which under the Treaty of Salah ad-DIN and Richard owned the crusaders, and then along the coast to reach tyre on the ground, beyond Muslims. It is a pity that I have so little strength, father Nicephorus, and I clarity would paint you, as there are located.

My companion offered to go through the mountains. This path was difficult and dangerous in itself, but we just do not catch the Sultan's guards. I thought that it was better to risk and to go along the mountains to the coast, and if we go by night we might be able to slip past the patrols and guard posts.

Matilda objected to this way. The fact that South of the mountain chain in the deep the basin is the sea of Galilee, between him and the mountains the distance is small, only twenty miles, and this narrow gap guards for sure especially alert. This woman offered, if it's hard for me to go through the mountains, go bypassing the sea of Galilee from the South. But I refused, as this lengthened the path, moreover, would have had to cross the Jordan, who in March very affluent. And yet, what I thought was the most important thing, – the road from Damascus to acre Iknew, as many times and went through it in the one and in the other side the siege of Acre Salah ad-DIN.

So I insisted on a direct path to the beach through the passage between the sea of Galilee, and off. And very soon regretted it. The fact that infidels have guessed that we would sneak at night and sent to a narrow dvadtsatiletnej period of not only day, but night patrols. And the nights were, as luck would have it, the moon.

And that's when left in the bright light of the moon flashed silver surface of Galilee the sea, we saw two dozen riders. They saw us and whooping rushed for us.

What is it was the guards, not bandits, we immediately understood what they gave chase directly, and began to cut us from the mountains: so guessed who we are and where we are heading. We had two choices: either to rush back to Damascus to his death, or to the South, to the sea of Galilee at certain death.

The German threw my shoulder, which now because of my stupidity the only hope for a miracle, and that she listened to me for the last time in life. And drove his camel to the South down to the water. I'm for it.

In General speaking, the horse on short distances much faster the camel. But cool the slopes around the sea of Galilee the soil is rough and rocky, lots of scree, bushes everywhere are large boulders, and because of this the pursuers were approaching slowly. But he just kept coming. Even arrows began to whistle around, but for target shooting, especially at full gallop, still, it was too far.

Our the camels managed not to break his legs on the slopes, we safely descended to The sea of Galilee, and Matilda drove his camel into the water. I followed it though and realized that our inevitable death: to the other shore, which was owned by the crusaders, was more than ten miles. None of the camel sailed that much and the skilled swimmer is too much, the more so in this time of year the water was still cool. I swam bad, is it some time could stay on the water. Bathed once with their peersin the Kura and Tuccari, and my swimming lessons ended.

I even I thought that the German decided to commit suicide: after all, it was an easier death than any of the ones that were waiting for us in the case return to Damascus. Besides suicide in the sacred waters of Galilee sea, which once walked our Lord Jesus Christ, could do to be a venial sin. So I set up your thoughts on saintly lad and after Matilda made her camel to enter the water and sail.

Camel swims very strangely: he lies down in the water to one side and rowing legs like on the side, obliquely pulling the neck. I was floating around, holding on to the saddle. The burqa and I, and Matilda threw another on the shore, not to interfere. Already in the water, I was forced to get rid from the purse with the Treasury: he was too heavy and pulled me down.

The pursuers stopped on the shore and even arrows are no longer allowed, as we understand that far we'll sail and either go back, or drown.

But it turns out Matilda, when we raced down the slopes, spotted in the middle The sea of Galilee a few fishing boats, it was a night fishing, and fishermen quietly dozing over their networks. We sailed these boats.

Camels already I was tired, and fishermen was still far away. Then the German said that once animals will start to struggle, then turned back, and we won't get them to keep: they are not horses and will not go forward until the last breath, in obedience the will of the rider. So she told me to let go of the neck of the camel as soon as he turn, and as long as possible to stay on the water itself. Otherwise the animal will carry off me back, into the hands of enemies.

It pushed from his camel and with powerful strokes swam forward, keeping in the teeth of the dagger. Soon, in the light of the moon I saw its silhouette of the boat, and then the boat moved quickly towards me.

My camel to that time turned back, and I have great difficulty to be holding his own by himself. Already choked, when the German grabbed me by the hair and dragged into the boat, which nobody else had: I didn't ask what happened to the fisherman, and so was clear. Only told Matilda that drowned all our Treasury. She angrily said that I had to obey her, and ride through the mountains, and then the money was would a whole. I had nothing to say in my defense, I felt terrible guilty, and now I understand that from that moment began my fall: moreI'm in a relationship with the woman is never able to insist on.

We sent the boat to the Western shore of the sea of Galilee, the city Tiberias. There we were inaccessible to persecutors: Tiveriada belonged to the crusaders.

And here we approached to the pier. Both were almost naked, but she threw on some a rag was found in the boat, imperious voice called over the guard and said something French. This I do not know the language, but in common with the Latin words realized that she asked him to call someone from the Templars. After some time sleepy knight. She does for him said something, he was astonished, bowed and gave team protection. Soon they brought us clothes, well-fed, summed up the horses, allocated a guide, someone from the Junior ranks of the order, and we went to the shooting range.On the way Matilda was talking with escort in German, and I do not understand word.

In between I asked her why we receive such honor. She explained that her uncle Joachim von der Hirsch takes in the order of the Temple in a high place.

Arriving at the shooting range we entered the rich house on the block of the Templars. Baron von der Hirsch, slim knight middle-aged, happily hugged her, and they about something talked, then she introduced me as a "Russian Duke Svyatoslav", the German friendly, but dry greeted me, and he called the servants and told them to provide me a room.

In that room I spent two weeks. Nothing needed, I was put in charge of two servants, but they not only served me, but guarding me in all my attempts at least go outside and walk around the city I politely said Baron von der Hirsch has forbidden to do it, as I can detect Muslim infiltrators. Matilda, too, for all this time never to me not came.

Finally she appeared. Calmly listened to my accusations about prison in the house of the von der Hirsch. He explained that he went with his uncle to the commander of the Palestinian brotherhood of the knights Templar, and he said that after the informant at the courtyard of the Sultan it is already known that all the sons of Salah ad-DIN, despite the announcement of the death Sultan from fever, swore revenge on the murderers of his father and hired to hunt for us assassins. Have you heard about the assassins, father Nicephorus? Yes, those infidels which is somewhere in the Caucasus specially prepared for secret murders.

And commander invited us with her to go to Russia, I Russian and, therefore, will be able quickly settle down in their country. There we were the assassins certainly will not find. And Palestine and even in the Holy Roman Empire we now live is too dangerous.

I said that I am ashamed to go back to Ryl'sk eunuch, and expressed their long-standing concerns that castrated Prince in Rus ' would be equivalent to blinded.

Matilda said that in Rylsk to go back and do not, we will go under the guise of merchants in Suzdal land, where reign of Vsevolod Georgievich, named Big Jack because of the many children. I had to pretend that I am a merchant from Tmutarakan: this was once a Russian town ceased to belong to Russia in the Monomakh, but there still remained a lot of my compatriots. I allegedly traveled on business with a merchant caravan that was captured thieves, castrated and sold into the Sultan's harem. In that unhappytraveling with me was my niece, that is Matilda, and she got into the same harem. Then the Sultan died, the heirs began to divide the power, and the inevitable mess with us, Matilda managed to escape.

She said I will have to change my name as Svyatoslav and Boris – Prince the names, and she knows that in Russia it is not customary to give merchants. And honorary princely patronymic II also was not good.

I questioned, I can tell you about Tmutarakan in the case that me in Russia someone will ask about her issues, even more so if you meet somebody come from this city. I saw Tmutarakan once aboard the slave ship, when the slave Farhad drove me out of Sarkel in Zonguldak. And remember only a huge idol, standing near the pier.

Matilda said one of the servants of her uncle – a native of Tmutarakan, and he told us all about it city tell in detail.

Another one of my the question was, what if Matilda will pretend to be my niece, why doesn't she know Russian language? But it turns out to be provided: was going to pretend to be the daughter of my eldest sister, who married a German. And I had had constantly to deal with the Russian.

Remember, I surprised that she has already managed to learn and think. And asked where we take the money for the trip. It turned out that the money she gave von der Hirsch, and she already bought a product, to drive to Suzdal. A ship loaded Indian spices and fabrics. My surprise increased – not every uncle will give niece so much money, but I said nothing. In the end, it was not my business.

I told her that all the time spent in the house of her uncle, pondered his future and would like to go to monastery. And in the Latin countries, and Byzantium, and in Russia the Church of eunuchs respects, and over time I could become a Bishop. But she asked me because I owed her salvation in the sea of Galilee, to hold it in The Suzdal land, and then will be able to do what I see fit. To go the monastery, they say, never too late.

As you can see, father Nicephorus, I never went to the monastery. Sincerely repent of it, and not just because I could want to do, but did not do God's work. God, making me monasticism would have been better for me and for my country. Without my help Matilda would not have done so much harm. I probably would have found another assistant. But at least I would die with a clean conscience.

However, how could I not agree with the suggestion of Matilda, being in a strange city to me Dash, without money on the prisoner in the house of the Templar von der Hirsch? The second time, after the assassination of Salah al-DIN, she had to refuse, I could not. Already then I got dependent on that woman. But did not know that this dependency every year is harder and harder.

Matilda was dressed as a widow – all black, without ornaments. By the way, the rest of his life and went. I was surprised told her that she still maybe get married, give birth to children, why to wear eternal mourning, and to whom? Wrong Sultan, whom she was even not the wife, but a concubine, one of five hundred? And she deservedly so sent to hell? But the German said that I don't tempt her maiden soul was rudely trampled by the godless Mohammedan, and she is now forever taken a vow of celibacy. I remember being very serious about it through false words, imbued withher with pity, and then endured a lot and forgave because of this eternal widow clothing.

However, I must say, that this dress was her pretty face, though I, a poor eunuch, and tried not to think that women had to face, no. But still sometimes about it thought, I confess.

The servants of Baron von der Hirsch brought me merchant's clothing. One of them told me about Tmutarakan. It turned out, this reminds of Sarkel, that is, a likeness a huge shopping of the camp, consisting of old buildings, built in of the rule of the Russian princes, and many nomadic Yurt. Well, of course, and auction and slave market and artisan workshops, and a large harbour – everything as it should be. He explained to me and from what urban area I alleged happen, who were my neighbors, my family background, how were my childhoodand youth, and so on. In a word, created for me the whole story. I remember I even was surprised that the servant is so clever and sensible. However, the senior knight of the Temple von der Hirsch servants were also the knights Templar, just more low rank.

The servant called my new name: Falaley Karpovich. Why is this? Because he lived in Tmutarakan Russian merchant named Carp, however, he had many children, all of them sooner he left his hometown and it was handy to call one of them.

By the way, then this German woman has stopped calling me as much as I liked the Duke Svyatoslav. Always called Thalaleas, even in private. Ostensibly in order to accident not to mention not to mix with outsiders. But in fact it is there was another step of my fall, even in the eyes of the woman I am from the Duke became a merchant.

And so in April we sailed from tyre with a large merchant caravan. The whole ship was loaded with goods Matilda, that is, as if she. Captain (in the original Latin – "the main master"; here and hereinafter will use the word "captain" – approx. transl.), an elderly Venetian, thought I was mostly all the time bow to me. Matilda, I think, quietly laughed, looking at it.

Looking Palestinian receding shore, I remembered Damascus, remembered the Sultan's harem, and thought would never see the Holy Land. And really, no longer saw. And to complete the story, I can tell you, father Nicephorus that the killing of Salah ad-DIN proved to be a major blow to his state. After all this invalid left – how many would you think? Seventeen sons! And then he had two younger brothers. All the heirs immediately went the possessions of the late Sultan to declare themselves rulers, and to gather troops.Damascus went to al-Afdal, the eldest son, Egypt – al-Aziz, another one of sons, Yemen – Tugtekin, brother of Salah ad-DIN, and so on. Started an endless series of wars, very similar to our princely intestine wars. But we at least the princes themselves took their armies to battle, and effeminate and depraved the heirs of Salah ad-DIN still did not want to lead the troops, trusted viziers and magistrates, and those pretty soon decided that they themselves deal with the Affairs of the country. Now, as far as I know, the descendants of the murdered Sultan Matilda arecomplete subjection to their commanders. And thanks to their strife ten years ago the Latins even managed to return Jerusalem.

Read more to tell you the heirs of Salah ad-DIN I can't, because then, when I lived in Suzdal, to the news from Palestine treated with indifference and I do not remember, there is someone who won. Yes, it's for my confession and whether such the same strife we have in Russia is much more important.

The path was Constantinople. There, the caravan stopped briefly, just for a day, but we Matilda still managed to go to some small Church near the Harbor and to accept Orthodoxy. More precisely, he converted to Orthodoxy she and I just confessed involuntary sin of apostasy and was released from treatment in Mohammedan faith. There the priest was not so attentive, as you, father Nicephorus: he quickly listened to a prepared us the story – well, about the fact that we come from from Tmutarakan and so forth, and performed all the necessary ordinances. Nor was heso unselfish, as you fee ordinances were considerable, still the Church stood not far from the Marina, Orthodox merchants had no time to rise city and look for another temple, and there the Abbot of this, God forgive me, skillfully used.

Yes, father Nicephorus, these ordinances were invalid because the Matilda story was invented and, therefore, the confession is false. Now I understand and repent of it. About it then either did not think or did not want to think.

For a small additional cost of Constantinople, the priest gave us certificates with our new name. So I became a Thalaleas by Karpovich and Mathilda – Maria: Friedrich, as allegedly called her father in Russia generally pronounced as Fedor.

Swam on. In a way I taught this woman the Russian language, and I have to say that she grasped the language amazingly fast. When we arrived to Vladimir, she is already pretty well said, though still with a strong German accent. And soon this reprimand gone, to distinguish it from the Russian it was impossible.

But I ran far forward. Even when we sailed through the Russian sea, an event that barely brought me to the same slave market in Zonguldak, where I already had the misfortune to visit. And then their salvation, I certainly owe Matilda. Will tell you about it, father Nicephorus, so how was I then not the best by the way, I have a confession.

We were approaching Olesu, the Russian city at the mouth of the Dnieper. On the horizon appeared a strip of coast, as suddenly rose a strong North wind: captain told me that in Italy he called the Tramuntana, while in may is very rare. We drove back to the sea and, worst of all, swept our caravan. And when on the next day the wind dropped and we again went to the side of Oleshye, we met pirates. The sea around was deserted, and protect us there was no one.

The pirate ship was our faster and soon caught up with us. We could have resistance: our team consisted of twenty people, pirates was a little more about thirty. The weapons we had. But when their ship approached, and there rang out a chilling whistle of flying arrows, our captain chickened out, threw the wheel and ordered the crew to pull the sail and surrender. Matilda ran to him, trying to get me to fight, but the captain did not pay any attention to her. Maybe he would obey me, because I thoughtI'm in charge, but I have no commands are not allowed. I confess, though, fell into some the stupor. Probably, because always insecure feel on the water, the more than once nearly drowned in the sea of Galilee. And maybe, just raznezhilas from the full, rich and peaceful life in the harem. In short, could not repeat your halinski feat.

The pirates scored to us ropes and hooks, clasped his ships and jumped on our deck. We tied up and dragged on a pirate ship. Their captain, a Turk of middle age with a huge black beard, looked at us, saw her and waved. It took to him in the cabin. He went there, quite stroking his beard in anticipation known pleasures.

The rest fiends surrounded us. They whistled, hooted, laughed, waved weapons in our faces, shouted some insults, which I however, I do not understand because they spoke Turkish. Then one of the villains pointed at me and something began to speak to others. And gestures commanded me to undress naked. Was it in my appearance I realized that I was a eunuch, and decided to show others what happens to the body after castration.

All the pirates interest came and examined me. My God, how embarrassed I was! This the humiliation I have not experienced ever in my life. To stand in full view of dozens of people, demonstrating the most secret corners of mangled bodies – can you imagine this submit?

And it was not one of the pirates, disgusting dirty Arab, suddenly caught fire desire. Yes, thus. Apparently, he decided that since his share is not got women, then come down and castrated male.

The villain knocked me to the deck and roughed me up. It was followed by several more villains. I've never had to be so icky role, and the pain was terrible. When godless sodomites finally sated, I was barely alive.

Then me and the team captured the ship were herded into the hold. I couldn't go, and I carried on hands. The captain was a Venetian, who knew the Turkish language, said that the pirates going to take us in Zonguldak to the slave market and sell there.

The hold was dark and damp, I lay on the wooden floor and moaned softly. The move could not: every movement caused pain. Gradually fell into oblivion. I was all same – Zonguldak or any other Turkish city, slavery in the new harem or painful death at the hands of the Avengers of the Salah-ad-DIN.

Out of oblivion I brought the creak of the hatch covering the hold, the light of the torch, the clank of iron and the voice Matilda. She brought a whole bunch of swords and daggers, told our team to stand on the wheel and hoist the sails, and a few of us to arm and protect surviving pirates.

It turns out that she applied to the captain of the pirate ship all the skills of adultery, I learned in the harem, and he, exhausted, at midnight, slept like the dead. That is the dead: while he slept, she found in his cabin a dagger, and the villain is not woke up. Then she came on deck and stood in the darkness of night to destroy one by one were there pirates. Finally, the only survivor of those fiends, who slept in the great cabin. Then she closed the cabin door, pinned her outside and went to open the hold where we were.

Seeing that I lying motionless, she approached me and asked what was the matter. I explained. It said if no blood, then do not worry, the pain will pass. And went upstairs. Soon they brought me clothes, gave water. After spending a couple of hours, I really, feel better and carefully, making no sudden movements, went on deck.

Doing dawn. Pirate ship with lowered sails bobbed on the light wave. The ship on which we sailed from tyre, swung around. As I told our the captain of the Venetian, the villains put on this ship a few people out of their team, and they too swam in Zonguldak near us. When Matilda captured a pirate ship, we caught up with them. The villains didn't even try resist: we had many times. So we because of this woman and returned to the ship with our Indian goods, and took greatpirate ship, which was also a lot of good. Even gold was found.

When I out on deck, the dead bodies were cast overboard, only puddles of blood celebrated night journey of Matilda from the stern cabins of a Horny pirate the captain, on the nose, crew cabin. Half a dozen remaining alive villains tied up and kicked out of the cabins upstairs. Join them and those captured on our ship.

We had to decide what to do with these people. More precisely, with these nonhumans. Matilda he looked at me and said that because I suffered more than she, and for me to decide.

I have to repent, father Nicephorus. I could just tell you to throw them into the sea, and it was would be fair, right? After all these villains in any case deserved punishment, and drowning would be for them to more and easy. You can say they were lucky. I and wanted to instruct, but then my eyes fell on the Arab-sodomite: unfortunately for him and for the rest of the villains, he was still alive.

And I experienced such a fit of wild anger, I never in my life experienced. Told me to bind the pirates legs, pulling them back to the hands, so villains turned out to be quite helpless. Then he took a knife and castrated them all, starting with the vile Arabs. Yes, father Nicephorus, I am ashamed to say this, but I did it. With his own hands. Fountains of blood, terrible cries, struggling in convulsions of the body, – all this delivered me ineffable pleasure. Here's to my sin. He was not the first and not the last in my life, and probably not even the most serious – after all it wasnot innocent victims, incorrigible villains, but the sense of evil overwhelmed the bloody revenge, I think, is not befitting a Christian.

Some our team members became ill from the sight, and they rushed to the sides ship: their stomach turns inside out. The rest in terror, turned away. The captain of the Venetian pretended that delved into the definition of the course in Oleshye. Matilda only looked upon the proceedings with a calm and as I am now understand a sneer. One of the pirates, despite bound hands and legs, managed to crawl to her, begging – no, not for mercy, but only that he was drowned, not ecoplaya. But she just pushed it with his foot.

Covered with blood from head to toe, I ordered the team to throw the writhing of the mutilated the villains in the boat, which was on a pirate ship, and blow it to the wind and waves. Then I went to the captain's cabin and fell exhausted on the very bed where on the eve of the lustful Turk was having fun with German. The bed was also blood, but I already was all the same.

I came in until we got to the mouth of the Dnieper. The weather was good, wind shifted to the passing, and nothing broke the tranquillity of our journey.

In Oleshye we overloaded our products on riverboat: this is the lower don, no thresholds, and the ships of the sea reach of Sarkel, and the Dnieper.

We Matilda sold pirate ship, to gain good money. All the gold jewels, weapons and goods seized from pirates, also remained with us: Matilda had every right to them, and didn't even think to share with the captain of a Venetian nobleman, a coward during the appearance of the pirates. He tried to give a hint that it would be nice to get at least a small part of the production, but the German just looked at him, he bowed and fell silent.

And it Mathilde von Immendorf then was only eighteen! I admit it he genuinely admired. I was still young, I may have aged suffering and tribulations. How old was I? Twenty-six years.

Like you said, father Nicephorus? No thanks, I do not want, let me only bring more water. And you singing, if my confession turned out to be so long.



Part V,

recorded Stefan, a monk of the Abbey of St. John in Riga


As I was pleased to return home and hear around yourself Russian speech! Was in was in my life and encouraging moments. Just a pity that few of them were. Yes, and to Russia I returned not redeemed from captivity rylstim Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich, and crippled Tmutarakan merchant Thalaleas by Karpovich.

While we were sailing in the lower reaches of the Dnieper, on the banks all the time snooping around the brazen Cumans and even sometimes shoot the arrows. But once again, we were part of a big merchant the caravan, besides the Dnieper wider than the don, and the distance from shore to ships too large even for archery. However, the river is several thresholds, and through them we have to drag the ships on dry land – you probably know that in Russia these places are called portages. Some of these roads there is usually a small settlement, and that they sometimes attack the Cumans.But God saved us from their attacks: again send me captured by the Polovtsy was would be too cruel even for the Lord. I'm sorry, father Nicephorus, blasphemy broke the habit after all, I'm a Prince, not a monk, and build unjust blasphemy against the Almighty, the virgin and the saints dared pretty often. I confess this.

Have you ever been to Kiev? And In Smolensk? Then I'm not going to tell you about these cities. Kiev is beautiful really? Especially the Hagia Sophia. Twenty-five gilded domes, is a sight unforgettable.

Passing through The Dnieper river Kiev and Smolensk, we turned into the river Vyazma, passed a large and habitable portage (now this place is the town of Vyazma – approx. transl.), then at some small river was in Ugra, tributary of the Oka. From Oki moved up along the Moscow river. Were Moscow – the first city of Suzdal on our way. Turned into Yauza river, then rummaging moved into the Klyazma.

In Russia summer seven hundred and one (1193 – approx. transl.) it was cold, there were heavy rains, and I even had a slight fever the habit after Palestinian heat. Matilda well if not felt the abrupt change of weather. I do sometimes it seemed that this woman is made of iron.

And here we Profit the Klyazma in Vladimir. You weren't there, father Nicephorus? It's a huge city: as I thought more and Kiev, and Chernigov. Around are fertile plain. The city itself consists of three parts. The middle part is great the mountain between the deep ravines and the rivers Klyazma and Lybed Cenu. Here powerful strengthen nature itself, and the princes Vladimir Monomakh and Dolgoruky George only used the benefit of this location, taking over the slopes of low ramparts and wooden walls on them. This old fortress adjacent twobuilt by Andrei Bogolyubsky: one from West and one from the East. The shafts of these fortresses somewhat higher, but still, in fact, it's the same wood-earth fortifications, as in my old Ryl'sk.

In the city many gates in wooden towers, but there are two in white-Gold – from the West, the Silver from the East. These gates are large, with high travel arches and churches from above. It all looks very festive. Between these the gate through the city from West to East is main street, paved tree.

Over the city dominated by the enormous Cathedral dedicated to the virgin. (We don't know, accidentally if Svyatoslav did not specify the consecration of the Vladimir Cathedral of the Dormition of the virgin, Bogolyubovo Palace Church – the Nativity, the Church on the arrow of the Nerl and Klyazma – Cover. Perhaps these dedications not mentioned in the pre-Mongolian Chronicles, came much later, and the original temples were dedicated to just Virgin – approx. transl.). He stands on the highest point of the city, and when you get to Vladimir, it can be seen for many miles, the sight unforgettable. This temple is also built of white stone. It was built with the pious, then completed when Vsevolod the Big Nest.

Is in In Vladimir and other temples of white stone. One – the former court of George Dolgorukiy, dedicated to St. George. It was built Dolgoruky. The second – nearby, high hill between Vladimir bargaining and the Golden gate. It is devoted The Transfiguration of our Saviour, and built by Andrei Bogolyubsky. Even close the city's Cathedral of the virgin was the construction of a princely Palace, and about him stood another white – stone Church of St. Demetrios. This the Church was completed only two years before my arrival in Vladimir.

I'm not just so told you about Vladimir white-stone buildings that were built and Dolgoruky and Andrey Bogolyubsky, who was murdered twenty years before my arrival in Vladimir, and then, in my memory, – when Vsevolod Big Nest and his the heirs. Do you know what the white stone? It seems, in Riga, in Byzantium hewn natural stone do not build in brick. Yes, you have at home used flat bricks called plinthite. From this time, sometimes in combination with cobblestones, build in Kiev, and Smolensk, and inChernigov. And in Suzdal building stone is mined only in one location – near Moscow, a young but thriving and rapidly growing city on the the far South-Western edge of the Principality. The stone is really white, sometimes with a yellowish or pinkish tinge. Very beautiful color. Closer to Vladimir no building stone was not found, neither white nor any more. Only stones and a few of them.

Suburban quarries were developed at Dolgoruky. At first, upon learning that stone imported from Moscow, from which to Vladimir on the river four hundred miles, I surprised: is it really impossible to build Byzantine – of time, which can be to make clay, which lies literally under our feet? But later I was it is known that George Dolgorukiy wanted to build it from stone, because this material was used in the Holy Roman Empire and since the times of Ancient Rome was an expression of the power and glory of the state.

And so it turned out that my whole life in Suzdal was associated with white stone. Who do you think the second hundred years (1194 – approx. transl.) until the Mongol invasion was the main contractor for the transport of the stone from Moscow to Vladimir, Rostov, Suzdal and Georgiev-Opole (now Yuriev-Polish – approx. transl.)? Falaley Karpovich of Tmutarakan, that is me. Here's how things turned out.

Worthless a deathbed confession to brag, especially unnecessarily. To brag me nothing: in fact, the contractor was Matilda, she was just more convenient to the owner cases were considered to be I – still in some sense a man. Women like you you know, less respected, less considered them, and so when Matilda received in succession for the transportation of stone, it was easier to hide behind the name of his a loyal slave. Yes, a slave. Otherwise, I can not say: forty-five years I was a slave this woman. Forty-five years! And only yesterday a slave rebelled, but it was too late, andits dirty, mean and dirty business she sang.

Honestly this the woman didn't do anything. And contract for transportation of white stone received a low and dishonest way. Have to tell you this, while there is still power.

Having arrived in Vladimir, we are with Matilda settled on the hem in the riverine part of the city far from bargaining as it is usually make rather poor merchants. Hem still with Andrew Bogolyubsky was surrounded by walls, inside the walls lived the merchants richer outside is poorer. We settled under the protection of the walls, in one of the best houses on the standards of Podol: we have enough. Soon sold our Indian goods and become even richer. I say "we", "our", but actually all belonged to German.

She decided starting any new business. Trade after adventures on a pirate ship didn't appeal to her: she said that she's had enough of travel, it is necessary to live will she likes, although the climate in it and so so.

Even when we on the way to Vladimir, passed to Moscow, Matilda noticed many suburban quarries and a huge number of boats, carrying from there, the stone in Vladimir. Along the way, we talked to the carriers and learned that all the quarries belong to the Prince as stone extraction is considered to be a state, but transportation at the mercy of merchants or contractors. The idea is that contractors could be several: to obtain a contract for the carriage could any merchant. But even in times Dolgoruky happened that one who hadthe greatest influence at the princely court became the main contractor and more anyone to this case were not allowed.

And here Maria Feodorovna of Tmutarakan, aka Matilda von Immendorf, intent to in a row on the carriage of stone. Yes, become the one and only contractor. Case it was the largest and best princely Treasury paid regularly.

Honestly to buy the case from the then contractor, an elderly merchant named Vlas Anikievich was impossible: you would need to pay many times more money than us was. And she came up with another way – through the Grand-Ducal architect. Say straighter and rougher, but more precisely, through the bed of the Grand architect.

Architect was Bartholomew, monk of the monastery of the Holy virgin in Bogolyubovo, the city ten versts from Vladimir. In his monastery he was rare: mostly was in Vladimir, in the construction of a princely Palace, and he Cathedral was built in the monastery, is also dedicated to the virgin and situated near the the Palace (now the monastery of the Nativity – approx. transl.). Can tell that to the Bogolyubov monastery Bartholomew was just assigned. How I understand it is quite usual for the monks, especially of such level as the Grand architect. In Byzantium it is also not uncommon, though, father Nicephorus?

But still Bartholomew as a monk was obligated to at least occasionally come to your Bogolyubovo monastery and spend the divine services and the sacraments. At the construction site, where he was chief, to meet him and talk privately was difficult, and the monastery is much simpler: it was enough to come to him for confession. That and decided to make Mathilda. Servants we are not yet there, but it is specially sent me on the auction, so I hired a trusted messenger through the merchants, known to us by the selling of Indian goods. The messenger went to Bogolyubov,it was presented by the servant of a rich merchant Thalaleas Karpovich of Tmutarakan, learned when the monastery is father Bartholomew, pay for the confession of the servant of God Thalaleas and donated on my behalf a lot of money to the monastery.

Then we Matilda went there. She needed to spend the first conversation that were of interest to Bartholomew. Further in the case going to enter it.

Bogolyubov made me just a stunning impression, I did not know that in Russia there are cities with fortifications not of wood, but of white stone. All of this was built by Andrei Bogolyubsky, and all the time his reign Bogolyubov was the capital of Suzdal. After Andrew was killed, and Prince Vsevolod again made the capital of Vladimir, Bogolyubov was empty, although the boyars, the princely retinue and officials moved to Vladimir, were the artisans and merchants – Bogolyubov advantageous location on the crossroads of trade routes anywhere not go away.

In the middle Bogolyubov, over the cliff to the Klyazma – a great castle, also of white stone. When Andrew G. he was the Prince, now a monastery there. For twenty years with the murder of Prince Andrew, the castle turned black with soot from the furnaces and had grown hardwood extensions, but the sight was still magnificent.

Among the buildings the monastery rises the Cathedral dedicated to the virgin. Also, of course, white-stone. Matilda's waiting outside, I went inside. Office time was not, and the Church was almost empty. There already was waiting for Bartholomew: money for confessions were paid a lot, and he treated me with respect. Matilda got it figured out.

Grand the architect, perhaps, was not yet sixty, but he seemed deep old. Hunched, leaned on the crutch, constantly coughed, covered with long partly gray beard. On the face were very lively and cunning eyes. As it soon became clear, everything in his appearance, except the eyes, was deceptive.

In the confessional I briefly told him about the same as that of Constantinople, priest, there was not quite truthful. Bartholomew during my story about Tmutarakan and the plight of the eunuch frankly bored and no questions asked. Revived it is only at the end of confession, when I told him two things too came up with Matilda. The first is that I have a lot of money, and I don't know what the thing they invest. The second is that the hieromonk Bartholomew would like to confess my young niece Maria, who also visited the harem, and she was forced thereto engage in such adulterous abominations that it is impossible to imagine. What's more – she's shy to talk about these abominations under the arches of the temple, and asks the father of Bartholomew the right to worship in his cell.

This woman suggested that Bartholomew peck either for money or for a story about a harem the adulteries. She was a bit mistaken: he swallowed and then, on the other. Already half an hour later I brought Matilda in his huge cell: Bartholomew took part in the former princely chambers.

German, greeting Bartholomew, immediately nodded me: it meant that I got to go to leave. I referred to the urgent business in Vladimir and left.

Heart me was hard. First, I have committed another sin: in the mercenary purposes lied in confession. Secondly, I knew that Matilda would to entice Bartholomew, and it turns out that I contributed to the sin of violation a monk, his monastic vows. Thirdly, I first experienced something akin to jealousy.

Don't know, father Nicephorus, why I was jealous of the German woman to Bartholomew. I was in fact in damask harem not worried that she is the concubine of Salah ad-DIN. And didn't care what did the captain of a pirate ship. And then I don't know what came over me. Fell in love with her? Maybe so, because a woman she really was outstanding, not take away. But if it was love, the love of a faithful dog who is jealous of the owner to others. I never got to know what true love: I will always remember that you are an unhappy eunuch.

Jamal-al-Galil the Sultan's harem doctor, with whom I was on good terms at the time told me that if the eunuch would not convince himself that he wants woman, so he doesn't want to, because person a man doing some substances produced shameful parts of the body.

And castration I and love really do not have time about the girls to the yard weddings in General are not talking, and his wife Evdokia I had lived a little, Yes, honestly speaking, not for love I married her and joined in a dynastic marriage. It it is quite another, although my wife and I treated very well, after all she was the mother of my children. I probably could find itself in family life, love of children. But with the children I was forever separated when he was a young man, and they are babies. And so it happened that I never in my life never loved anyone. I understand that this is doesn't sound like a Christian, and repent of it.

Yes, father Nicephorus, love deprived and many ordinary people who are not crippled. But I was not deprived of only love, but honor, and it was much worse. Listen to how I helped dishonest Matilda ruin contractor Vlas of Anikievich and keep it in a row.

This woman back in Vladimir three days, and told me that she was able to know. Besides, Bartholomew was a very cheerful and lusty man, and she not only had to confess to him about harem adultery, but and, God forgive me, to deal with them Bogoliubov in his cell.

She had learned what secular name Bartholomew – ULEB Hotovec. He came from the merchant bar, and in his youth became a disciple and close associate of the architect, who came to Andrew Bogoliubsky of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The the Imperial architect built the large city Cathedral, Golden and Silver gate in Vladimir, two churches in the city of Bogolyubovo, and next to him on the Strelka of the rivers The Nerl and the Klyazma river, and another began to build in the hierarchy of the princely castle and the white stone walls.(Building by architect Friedrich Barbarossa Vladimir assumption Cathedral of 1158-1160 and the Golden gate confirmed by the message of the largest Russian historian of the XVIII century V. N. Tatishchev; churches Of the Nativity of the virgin in the hierarchy and of the Intercession on the Nerl – the latest research messages of Russian Chronicles. Approx. transl.)

As a reward for the building of the Vladimirskiy Cathedral ULEB Kotowicz received a knighthood. Then, when the Imperial architect left Russia, the future monk Bartholomew built a large Cathedral in Rostov and the Church of the Transfiguration of our Saviour in Vladimir. The great merit of the ULEB in this, however, was not, as Rostov the Cathedral he built under drawings of the architect Barbarossa, then a little expanded. And the Church in Vladimir, he did the same as the temple on the Nerl arrow and the Klyazma.

Then, when Andrey Bogolyubsky almost stopped stone construction, ULEB became the Bogolyubov monastery under the name of the monk Bartholomew. Why hair cut – unknown. Matilda expressed the suspicion that he was covering his tracks some abuse, and it looks like she was right: soon we realized that embezzlers Bartholomew was, God forgive me, rare.

In the monastery ULEB-Bartholomew held for twenty years. Monastic superiors they were pretty, and he even ordained to the priesthood, that is, become a monk. Cunning was man, all could fit in. Just like my uncle Igor.

Incidentally, I do not just remember my uncle: in the ninety-third year (1185 – approx. transl.) when we went to the ill-fated campaign in Vladimir there was a severe fire that burned much of the city, and built the Imperial architect, the Cathedral was badly damaged, its vaults moved, cracked and threatened to fall. Grand Duke Vsevolod commanded urgently strengthen its main temple. It turned out that the architect is able to work with large stone buildings, in Vladimir there. In The Holy Roman the Empire or any other country, even in neighboring Principality, to send forthe architect was once: cracks expanding literally every day, and search of the architect in any case would take more than one month. And then I remembered the ULEB Kotovich, that is about Bartholomew.(This is confirmed by the words of the chronicle: Vsevolod "is not looking masters from nemazi, but nalize the masters from the minions of the blessed Virgin Mary and from her" – approx. transl.).

Bartholomew guessed to build up the city's Cathedral high galleries that strengthened the building. (Here further, for simplicity, we use modern architectural terms – approx. transl.). However, for twenty years of interruption, he lost a skills, and the rigging turned out at it not very good: for example, the walls of the galleries have different thickness, their divisions unequally, the bases are arranged differently at different walls. But in General, his task the architect has done: crack it ceased to expand, and patched. The Cathedral was five-domed, and remain, but the small heads had to dismantle and build a new one – on galleries. After work Bartholomew the lost temple towering, but most importantly, survived, grew in size and still stands proudly above the city.

Construction took years two and three, and not only because of the ineptitude Bartholomew: stone with times Bogolyubsky were extracted, with only a small old stock, and simultaneously with the construction had to improve production in quarries. Then the merchant Vlas, Anikievich and received from the Grand Duke in a row on the carriage stone: as they say, at the right time in the right place. No special support of Vsevolod Georgievich, nor any of the boyars Vlas are not used just have owned boats and carriages, and when he heard that the Prince is looking for a contractorfor transportation, came to the Palace and offered his services.

Else Mathilde told that when the Grand Duke two years before our arrival in Vladimir was going to build a Palace, a temple dedicated to its patron Saint Dmitry Solunskogo, then wanted to send for the masters in the Holy Roman Empire, because he was afraid that Bartholomew can't handle. But the old cunning managed to convince Prince that the way was his older brother Andrew, an invitation Imperial architect – can be disastrous.

Bartholomew believed that only the pious flirtation with the Latin Church to explain this unfortunate fact: when Andrew was killed, regardless of the specific reasons for the conspiracy of the nobles, and townspeople, and the squad reacted to the death of Duke quietly, perhaps even happily. Because his body two days spent in the vestibule of the Church, and no one even thought to read the burial service and buried in the Orthodox rite, while it did not happened to be passing by the Abbot monastery.

Don't know correctly or not Bartholomew explained the dislike of the people to Andrew, it is possible, and more simple reasons, such as high taxes, by which the Prince could to conduct such a large white stone building. But on the retinue, and the nobility taxes could hardly tell, right? Yes and didn't Andrew the last twenty years life is almost nothing. So, it seems, the infamous lusty monk was right.

Another proof of the correctness of Bartholomew was that of the great Prince Vsevolod refused make in Russia the ambassadors of all countries who profess the Latin faith. Andrew did it several times, even the papal ambassadors had happened.

Whatever it was, monk won the right to build and the princely Cathedral of St. Demetrius, and the Cathedral is located near the Palace of the monastery of the virgin (Nativity – approx. transl.). And with this, he coped well. The Palace Cathedral was richly decorated with white-stone statues of the Imperial architect in his time came not one, but a Carver of stone, who taught this matter Russian masters. For twenty years these masters who have gone far, but gradually Bartholomew tracked down almost everyone.

The same statues can be saved in a row of Vlas Anikievich for the transportation of stone. It turns out that Vsevolod Georgievich was thinking to go with white stone much cheaper, easy to manufacture and reliable plinthite, but Bartholomew said then not be able to decorate the temple with statues: a brick is impossible the trim is just as beautiful as the white stone. That churches can build from bricks and decorate with white-stone reliefs, the Grand Duke did not have guessed, and no he, apparently, had told. So the stone near Moscow was mined, it drove to Vladimir, and Vlas, Anikievich have been in business.

By the way, to flatter Vsevolod, Bartholomew told the carvers to depict the Cathedral is not only a set of reigning symbols of lions, griffins, centaurs and all that, but sculptural portrait of the Grand Duke, with children. Tricky, isn't it?

That's how much managed to read Matilda, teaching an old adulterer harem science. And in the end Bartholomew was not against to take in a row at the sea of Anikievich and to give Thalaleas Karpovich, ie German. It had cost us money, but relatively small: the architect said that it will be necessary to bribe the chief quarries, the Grand official Ananias of Semyonovich, but he ready to deal with him and transfer money. How much money greedy monk it was going to keep – it is, as they say, dark. In the futureI had to share the earnings with the Bartholomew and Ananias.

Main the difficulty of obtaining a contract were different: because the transportation of stone was one of the largest expenditures, the final decision to change the contractor had to make himself Grand Duke, and he trusted Vlas. So it was necessary to discredit the merchant in the eyes of Vsevolod Georgievich. And Matilda with her black soul quickly figured out how to do it.

She bought bargain good German parchment and sat me down to write, as she knew Russian language is not enough. And I wrote: "Vlas, everything is going well, keep it up the same spirit, you know what to do." Then she to the letter reproduced it in their handwriting, and it happened just like I wrote the foreigner.

Then she discovered hanging around her neck amulet with the image of the virgin. Inside was printing with two riders on one horse, and she put it on parchment.

I saw the exact the same sign of tyre in the house of her uncle von der Hirsch, and knew that this print the order of the poor knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon. Asked her where this print. She said that just in case, gave uncle. And Prince Vsevolod believes, what conspiracy led to the death of his older brother Andrei Bogolyubsky, staged the Templars, and if you see such a message, it will go berserk.

But one the fake message was not enough. And this dishonest woman got Bartholomew some report written by Vlas Anikievich again sat me down for table, and I wrote handwriting Vlas, just on a different parchment, worse: "The Grand master of the order of Christ and of the temple of Solomon. Start with carriers and soldiers, during the year, we will be ready to revolt. Please advise when the Ryazan Prince Roman Glebovich will be ready to support our rebellion. Vlas Anikievich".

Roman Glebovich the son of Gleb Rostislavich and the brother of my wife Eudocia, was one of the worst enemies of Vsevolod the Big Nest, so insidious wiles looked quite most likely.

Night German planted the first forgery in the house of Vlas Anikievich and the second in the house of the Supreme the Governor, who was engaged in investigative cases. It turned out, though the messenger Vlas of Anikievich repented and decided not to carry the message to the Templars, and to transfer the Governor.

After reading this forgery, the Governor ordered the search of a building contractor. During a search they found a parchment with the seal of the order of the Temple. No more evidence was not required.

Maligned the merchant was tortured and, under torture, he confessed everything. He was executed via quartered, his property was confiscated.

So I together with Matilda killed an innocent man. In order to get it in a row, that is, for the money. Don't know, the most serious of my sins the point of view of Orthodoxy, but for sure – the black stain on my conscience, because the devotees Work under Salah ad-DIN knight and the Sultan's concubine, at least was Eastern concepts guilty of adultery. The pirates, which I painfully executed in the Russian sea, was generally incorrigible rascals. And the fact that it was made with Anikievich Vlas, there are no excuses.

And in fact, the father Nicephorus, it was the last moment when I could refuse to write dishonest anonymous letters and to leave the monastery! And my conscience would be clean, and Matilda I wouldn't have to worry: she's already settled down in Russia, learned the Russian language, she had money and a strong patron – the Grand architect. But I refused. Why? I guess I just didn't have the heart to break, and once time to start life anew. So I was falling lower and lower.

Poor Vlas are still waiting for execution, when Falaley Karpovich from Tmutarakani to view architect Bartholomew received the Grand Duke in a row to transport stone. I even received a reception in the Palace. I confess, I was difficult to force myself on-kupecheski to worship Vsevolod in the zone, after all, actually he was my brother Rurik. Of course, Salah ad-DIN I bowed even lower, but the still, there were "other" and "their". But nothing, bowed.

Prince slid at me look, said a few General words about what I have to work well and honestly, and with a nod he let go of me. Didn't even say goodbye. However, I deserve this attitude: a mean person – he is vile. And literally and figuratively. Because originally, the word "vile" comes from Podol usually inhabited by rich merchants and craftsmen. And Vladimir, I, too, lived on Hem. Here is a sad coincidence. A despicable man with hem. It was me.

However, soon Matilda by contract for the transportation of the stone became much richer than you were, and moved from the hem to a much more prestigious place Vladimir, the walls of the citadel, the inner fortress of the city, where lived the great the Prince and his entourage. But at least sneaky person I am, unfortunately, not became.

The whole seven hundred second year (1194 – approx. transl.) had a lot of work, and we German literally broke. However, as Bartholomew, and Ananias. In Vladimir continued construction of the Grand Palace, monastery Cathedral (Christmas – approx. transl.), and began the construction of the white-stone citadel. And in Suzdal repaired the city's Cathedral (Nativity of the virgin approx. transl.). All this required a huge amount of white stone, and funds from the princely Treasury flowed.

You say father Nicephorus that ramosmania – charitable work? Yes, only if you do it honestly, not to steal in such quantities as stolen we.

A steal we, mostly, in the preparation of reports. Ananias inflated the number of extracted stone two times, in the carriage of we with her almost a quarter stone blamed on losses from allegedly overturned boat and fell through the ice sled and in the construction of the Bartholomew staged a large write-off to waste when you treatment. As you can see, initially overestimated the quantity of stone reduced by inflated the loss, and eventually to buildings reached about the same stone how many were produced. Only it turned out that the Treasury pay for it twicemore expensive than it actually cost. And this difference lay in our bags.

Retaliation we was not afraid in the Vladimir Grand Principality of nobody but us, the costs of the production, transportation, and the hewing of the stone did not understand. Sometimes our reports were checked treasurers, but nothing wrong with them. And not eager to find, as with the reports received from Bartholomew a hefty bribe. So great the Prince was sure that everything goes perfectly.

Here such my sin of deception. Yes, no need to reassure themselves: no cheating, and theft. Sin violations of the Eighth Holy commandments. Forgive me, Lord.

Construction the white-stone citadel continued for another three years, the gate was built white stone Church (Joachim and Anna, 1196 year – approx. transl.), and over the years we with her have become very rich. Perhaps, Falaley of Tmutarakan was one of the most prosperous Vladimirtsev. Richer than me several merchants in Vladimir was only the nobles, the boyars, landowners, and even a thieving and greedy princely officials, including Bartholomew. But monk was forced to hide his wealth and lead an outwardly modest way life, we, however, Matilda had nothing to hide and from whom.

No remorse from rampant theft, I confess, I have not experienced, and thoughts about leaving the monastery, I wasn't being visited. And that I don't Tmutarakan merchant Falaley Karpovich, and Prince Svyatoslav ol'govich, I remembered less and less. Our new Vladimir the house was scarcely less than my Prince Palace in Rylsk, and servants, it was also a lot. I bought a lovely horse named Light. However, almost didn't go on it: while my obesity is not could even sit in the saddle, I was helping a few servants. So I prefer the wagon or sleigh.

I always remember that all this wealth I got, thanks Matilda. Yes and I often reminded about it. In General, we lived peacefully with her, as she was obeyed. As has become a tradition ever since the escape from Damascus, to argue it was useless, and stupid every time she had been right.

How far I already seemed to Damascus, how quickly he had gone into the irretrievable past! And about the homeland – the land of Chernihiv – I remembered infrequently, and remained quite indifferent, even when I heard the southern Russian strife.

For example, in the time when we were building Vladimir Detinets, was a large strife between The Monomakh and Olegovichy. In the same year, when construction began (1194 – approx. transl.) died Grand Prince of Kiev Svyatoslav. My great-uncle. Kiev immediately seized his longtime rival, the Prince of Smolensk Rurik Rostislavich. The Prince of Chernigov Svyatoslav's younger brother Yaroslav of this not suffered, made an Alliance with the Prince of Polotsk and began a civil war, in which was attended by my uncle, Igor, still ruled in Novgorod-Seversky. There were several battles, but in the end it all ended nothing, and Rurik Rostislavich for several years was Grand Prince of Kiev. Until the next strife.

In General speaking, these endless internecine wars for Kiev between Chernigov, Smolensk, Galich and other southern Russian principalities became so commonplace, that they are in Vladimir, remembered only when they participated Vsevolod the Big Nest. And then not always. By Vsevolod Squad where-that left, came back, and the city lived their lives. Only merchants on the marketplace discussed the rise in price or reduction in price of certain goods associated with looting one or another southern Russian city. In the Suzdal land to for the time being all was quiet.

I was not indifferent left only "the Word about Igor's regiment", and it was around the same during the construction of the citadel. Remember, father Nicephorus, I promised to tell you about it The "word", if forces remain? Thank God, remained.

One day, passing through Vladimir bargaining, I heard the bookseller is appeared the manuscript of "the Words of the glorious campaign of Prince Igor Svyatoslavich on filthy Polovtsy". I, of course, could not be approached, picked up this manuscript and immediately began to read it, could not put it down. No haggling paid the required money, but didn't move from the counter until you read to the end. So was shocked. What? Many.

First of all, what about this unfortunate and shameful campaign, it turns out, it was possible to tell so nice and to turn Igor into a hero. And directly never to lie. For Russia such a clever turn of the narrative – a rarity, it is in the East well know how to speak and write: it seems to be all true, nothing to complain about, but in General, it is not so. Remember what happened with my appeal to the Islam?

A written "Word" really beautiful. Whoever wrote it was clearly in the campaign and remembered a lot of detail. And the words of Igor: "O Russian land, you're over the hill," and marvelous bird and a wolf howling, and more. Maybe even in captivity visited, and he drove past Tmutarakan: not by chance he mentioned "Tmutarakan idol." Were even on the same ship Farhad, I did.

I liked that "The word" laments the princely feuds and the fragmentation of the Russian land. True, can't argue.

But we in Russia have a proverb for the trees not see the forest. And here beyond the trees true the story was not visible wood – dishonesty and military talent Igor. Like in the "Word" all the way, but look closely – not.

The secret was simple: it was enough to not mention shameful events and leave some feats describing their exalted language. Of all the many mistakes, Igor – you and I I counted seven, I think? – I "Word" met only two. First, a long delay Kale, and that says nothing about the fact that it was a mistake. Second, casually referred to as Igor fell for a feigned retreat of the Polovtsian on the last day of the battle. But those like the first enemy rushed Vsevolod, and Igor did not want to leave his brother and turned to the shelves behind him.(Apparently we are talking about the words: "Igor philka navorotami, gall Bo him to a lovable brother Vsevolod" – approx. transl.). In fact, as I already told you, both Prince jumped on their horses nearly at the same time. So Vsevolod, of course, to blame, but Igor – not less, and even more: the chief captain had to behave more responsibly.

And the main thing that angered me the silence that Igor just escaped captivity, and fled, in violation of this word and leaving in the lurch all the others, including even his sons. And through this silence shameful and disgraceful flight was the look like a heroic feat!

Bringing the manuscript "The word" home, I read it to Matilda. She listened, smiled and said in Latin countries, the novelists write any nonsense on which it is not you should pay attention. For example, the famous "Song of Roland". Like the hero is seen Roland? Hero. But then how to explain the fact that the "hero" in the attack of the Moors at first, stubbornly refuses to trumpet the horn and summon the king to help, considering it cowardice, and then suddenly begins to blow so hard, that effort he burst the blood vessels on the temples, and he's bleeding?It turns out that Roland does not die from the superior forces of the enemy and from their own cowardice and inconsistency.

Continuing to smile, Matilda asked, why "lay of Igor" Igor's wife crying about it in Putivl, if he reign in Novgorod-Seversky. Here, I admit, was funny to me. But it was, as we say in Russia, laughter through tears: I finally realized, why Igor fled to the bet Konchak, causing all the other Russian prisoners untold suffering.

How sad crying my husband Euphrosyne Yaroslavna – I don't know, but really, why she did in Putivl, and not in Novgorod-Seversky? And Igor, who shortly before the trip was widowed and married a second time, told us that the young wife is waiting for it home.

It Turns Out, Yaroslavna voluntarily went to Putivl, when Igor Svyatoslavich was in the campaign. It is could cause the Prince's suspicions. And then I remembered that when we three the day was celebrated in the desert victory over the Khan of America, we were talking about the faithfulness of wives, and Igor told me that he didn't like the looks of Kiev were thrown into one of his generals, the brave young nobleman Grigory, and he sin had sent Gregory in Putivl. And when the Prince of Putivl Vladimir Igorevich went for a walk, we left Gregory Governor.

So, apparently, Igor bet Konchak received news that his young wife is in Putivl, and sped there, who is jealous of his wife and Gregory to the extent that broke the floor, and left to the mercy of fate and the army, and sons.

True to my guess, invented whether Yaroslavna some plausible pretext to visit in Putivl was there something in her Putivl with this Gregory did Igor to catch them off guard – I don't know. But I hope that she has revenge on her husband for that three days after her hath committed adultery with polovchanka and framed under attack Konchak. That is revenge for all of us, captured by the fault of Igor. Yes, I understand that revenge is a sinful feeling, and repent.

When I shared with Matilda your thoughts about Igor and his wife, the girl nodded and said if the sin of adultery can be forgiven, Yaroslavna and Gregory – as a case in point. Then she paused and asked me whether Igor beautifully to speak and write. I confirmed. Then she expressed the view that it is "the Word" wrote either the Igor or someone from his entourage at his command. And if so, it is necessary to expect from this Prince any actions: it is surely no coincidence trying ten years after his ill-fated campaign to convince all the Rushe is a great warrior, but not dishonest a fugitive.

And the German was again law.

Soon, in seven hundred the fourth (1196 – approx. transl.) suddenly died, the younger brother of Igor – Vsevolod Svyatoslavich. Went to Chernigov to Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, returned from there to the Kursk, became ill and died, and before death is as black as my late father Oleg. I do not know, coincidence it or not. Maybe Vsevolod Svyatoslavich attempted to refute the heroism of Igor, sung in "the Word about the shelf"? Better no one could do it. And then it turns out that Igor, the former excellent relations with Yaroslav somehow managed proxy to eliminate a dangerous rival. Who it killed six of the brothers? Joram, the sonJehoshaphat! See, father Nicephorus, I still remember.

Before the death of Vsevolod redistribution of tables in Novgorod-Seversky Principality has never been, and Rylsk stayed for my son Oleg. More precisely, for me, because I was alive as it should be missing. After how many years, father Nicephorus, I would read the burial service in absentia? Eighty after the birth? You see, you're even earlier will the burial service: I am dying at seventy-one. Too much. Eunuchs rarely live so long, so I was lucky. Wanted to ask you to notify relatives in Rylsk on my death, but I do not need to do this once and so after nine years, Iwill read the burial service. If only there went nasty Batu and then to bury you no one will.

I think that Vsevolod Svyatoslavich did not give his older brother to mess with my kids: he knew that the culprit of my misfortunes was Igor. And when Vsevolod died, Igor decided to ignore the fact that I can be alive, and gave all the tables to your children depriving not only my sons, but sons of his younger brother. Kursk from the late Vsevolod withdrew Oleg Igorevich, Trubchevsk from Svyatoslav, the son of Vsevolod, Svyatoslav Igorevich, Rylsk from my kids and Oleg Mstislav – Roman Igorevich. Putivl remained with Vladimir Igorevich.

My Vsevolodovich sons Igor took him to Novgorod-Seversky: like as they ever get future I will get the tables, and have him learn and grow. But in fact it meant our with Vsevolod children are likely to become outcasts and will never get any tables. In the best case would be Governor in the worst – they will szhivaetsya with light. It is very kind of Rurik multiplied, tables was not enough.

To protect my children was no one, elderly uncle-pestun Kornily Ivanovich was powerless here. Themselves the sons were still very young: Oleg, thirteen, and Mstislav was not of the twelve.

I must say that I upset. Even thought himself to go to Novgorod-Seversky and present their princely rights. But as soon as I surfaced that I was castrated, my uncle Igor Svyatoslavich and Yaroslav Vsevolodovich certainly would have found ways to put me in a monastery and my kids definitely would be left defenseless.

And then I I must say thank you to Matilda. You know what she came up with? So I sent Igor letter! On her advice I wrote that with God's help alive and well are far away, but closely watching what is happening at home. Know what death of Vsevolod Sviatoslavich not all clean. Can testify that the heroism of Igor, sung in "lay of Igor" – not true. And most importantly – remember that after the death of Vsevolod standing on the ladder Seversky Prince of the ol'govichi from after Igor. But ready to abandon his reign in favor of hiskids and if my sons will have the tables of justice pledge never to return home and not to assert their rights. And need to return the table at least the older his son Vsevolod, Svyatoslav. Juvenile Vsevolodovich let it be with big brother.

And signed: Prince Svyatoslav II of Kiev. In Novgorod-Seversky knew my handwriting, and my signature.

We sent it a letter to Igor tricky way: one of our most faithful servants went to Kiev and from there he sent me a message with merchants who went to Novgorod-Seversky. It immediately had an effect: Igor, probably, I was afraid my return that immediately gave my son Oleg not even Ryl'sk and Kursk. Got Mstislav of Rylsk, Svyatoslav – Trubchevsk.

Their younger sons – Oleg, Svyatoslav and Roman – Igor again took to his Novgorod-Seversky. But for a long time without tables, they were not, as in a couple of years died Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, Igor as next on the ladder was Chernihiv Prince in the Chernigov land there were tables for all his sons. And Novgorod-Seversky Igor gave to his eldest son Vladimir.

So it turned out that I thanks Matilda gave the fate of their children. Let, father Nicephorus, at the last judgment will be counted for this any of its innumerable sins. Yes, of course I understand that this is not for you to decide. I said it in vain. I confess that.

And Vladimir, everything was as usual. Seven hundred and seventh (1199 – approx. transl.) almost graduated from the citadel in the same year there was another big city fire and burned almost all wooden buildings of the Grand Palace. Them immediately began to rebuild in stone. Then built a white stone gallery and elastichnye the tower to the Palace of the temple of the Demetrios, and he was with the Palace one whole – as the Church in the hierarchy with the local Prince's castle.

And then an event occurred, very unpleasant for us with Matilda: died Grand architect Bartholomew. Feasted with the Abbot of his monastery, ate too much and died. We were sure that it is stuffed: the Abbot made no sense to poison an influential monk, who was always ready to put in the Grand Duke word for the Bogolyubov monastery.

If you heard blasphemed Matilda on the death of Bartholomew! What she was saying! From her mouth out a single word of Christian regrets – only a wild rage about the fact that lascivious old goat dared to die, leaving them to the mercy the fate of the common cause, brought a large income. I'm sorry, father Nicephorus, I just I repeat her words. Although, I confess, too, was frustrated by the death of the architect. It annoyed, but not upset: in Russian language the difference between these words quite significant.

Bartholomew change yourself not prepared, and it turned out that the architect Vsevolod was not. But after six months in Vladimir, at the invitation of the Grand Duke arrived architect Antipov Dzmitrovich from Smolensk.

Shortly before that, on the North-Western outskirts of the city, was founded a new monastery. Dedicated he was Mother of God, but he was immediately nicknamed "Knyaginin" as the main the donator was the Grand Duchess Maria Shvarnovna, the wife of Vsevolod. And Antipas built a Cathedral. The white stone he didn't need to: the Church was plinthite as those that were erected in his native Smolensk.

Of course, this Antipy Matilda quickly would survive. For example, I would hire hobos to beat him and told go to Smolensk. Or do killed. Or she would come up with something that she was able to pull off with the late Vlas Anikievich. But while she thought what to do, we learned that the Cathedral of the Knyaginin convent was the last major Church, Vsevolod: more than anything, he was not going build nor of stone, nor of time. Architect Antipov dzmitrovich less than after a year he went home without waiting for the completion of the Cathedral, only drawings left.

Stopped and work in quarries. Their chief Hananiah Simunovich tried to influence the Grand Duke through her friends boyars, we with her – through her, but all was in vain. Vsevolod decided that rather built, has fulfilled all its when the enthronement of the vows, and now you can finally reduce the taxes from his people been waiting for this for a long time.

At the same time, year in seven hundred and tenth (1202 – approx. transl.), before I heard about the death of Igor Svyatoslavich, Prince of Chernigov. Why my uncle died I do not know. He was about fifty, a little. I confess, I didn't go to Church to enjoy it the prayer for the dead. Even a candle for the repose is not set.

And I might after him to become the Chernigov Prince! Well, maybe not immediately, after replaced Igor on the table Chernigov Vsevolod the red (Red – approx. transl.), son Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich. We red were almost the same age, he just older. He died soon, in one year Vsevolod the Big Nest (1212 – approx. transl.). I then, in the year of death of both Vsevolodov, was only forty-five! Maybe then Kiev the Grand Duke could be. With time. However, I didn't have to Kiev ucinnych rights: neither my grandfather nor his father was not Prince. But by the time southern Russia have dominated the right of the strongest, and Chernihiv, I would've sued the right to Kiev was a powerful city, not weaker Smolensk.

However, what I was Kiev? There has always been restless, too many princes it was claimed, the city repeatedly looted and gradually became more and more decline. Chernigov me would be quite enough, especially because the local princes now also called the great.

Something dreaming I death looking. It's a joke, father Nicephorus, and in order to understand it very well know Russian. In Russia they say "at night", and I said a little differently. See, even jokes can still. After all I am a Prince and warrior, and not afraid of death. The more than that die in a warm and comfortable bed thanks to the hospitality of dear Abbot. I forget his name. Christians? Yes, we ought to remember, and more to thank him, if you have time. If you fail – tell him thank you from me. And you I am very grateful for the detailed deathbed confession. Solife unlucky – as though death were lucky. And yet, me, Prince and warrior it deeply hurts me to die, knowing that lost every battle and helped the death of his country.

But you have to tell further, while it may not have time to finish the confession. And you, father Nicephorus, don't let I digress.

So, about the eleventh year (1203 – approx. transl.) we are with Matilda finally realized that the stone construction in the coming years will not, and so, contract for the transportation of white stone, we are still lost.

And this woman decided to go to the Holy Roman Empire. In the city of Regensburg. Why? As it I explained, for two reasons.

First, she was going to see his uncle, a Templar, who shortly before he was transferred to Regensburg from tyre. How did she know that? From the correspondence. Coming in Mr merchants Latins often passed her some letters that wrote she, too, passed with merchants. So, Baron von der Hirsch was allegedly powerful friends in Byzantium, and he could try to influence Vsevolod A large Socket through the Byzantine Church to the Grand Duke again stone temple construction. And she wanted to give uncle money, which bought in a Dash of Indian goods.

Second, we have had a lot of free money, and she decided to put them in the order of the Temple. I was surprised at this decision, but she said that the order has long and successfully engaged in money matters, and most reliable investment, which we will to obtain a relatively small but steady income for the rest of my life. And if we urgently need money, we will be able to pick them up at any time. It much safer than, for example, engage in trade or handicraft. I asked her to buy land in the fertile vicinity of Vladimir and live on incomefrom this earth, but she said she doesn't want to depend on the weather, droughts, and most importantly, the Grand tyranny: today our land, and tomorrow we have something not pleased, and her we have selected, in Russia it easily.

I argue, unfortunately, could not do anything.

She left me in Vladimir, I oversaw the home and farm. Gave so much money to enough and my life until the day she will be in Russia and at the beginning of a new business, if in a row on the carriage will no longer be able to. And with a large merchant the caravan sailed to Novgorod, through which lay the most common and a safe passage to the Holy Roman Empire. I took her to the pier and sad thought about my country, my Russia became poorer with the money which are now gone along with her to the Empire, and for the same money will be richer Latin order of Christ and of the temple of Solomon.

She warned me, he was going away for a long time, a year or more. She was gone for almost three years.

I must repent: for this time happened to me that, unfortunately, happens with many Russian: I turned into a binge drinker. As we say in Russia, drunk.

When I was rylstim Duke, almost not carousing, considering the disease of drunkenness is unworthy of a brave soldier. Can walk on the pier and in the morning Wake up with a heavy head, but it happened rare. Then, in the harem of Salah ad-DIN, I had forgotten what a Mead, beer and wine: from the Mohammedans this strictly, it is prohibited by Allah. However, some the eunuchs slowly managed to drink, but I'm on my high post of the head guard of the harem was too visible and you can afford could not.

When we with her already lived in Vladimir, I started drinking again, but rarely, and quietly: she told me it was banned, and I did not dare to contradict. And then, after her departure, as the saying goes – Dorval.

I was drinking with my a carabao that due to the termination of the contract was no longer in business. Drank with their servants: most we disbanded before the departure of Matilda, but some remain. Drink with the merchants to trade. Drank with some artisans and peasants. Even drinking with one of the lower nobleman, turned into the same drunken drunk, as I carried out time in the pubs with a bowl of mash. His name is not remember, and generally don't remember much from those years of endless drunken stupor.

Remember that one of my new friends-Brazhnikov has found a woman for me. Yes, despite the fact that I eunuch: it was fun to try something new, and how it I explained, among the many men who knew her, there was not a eunuch. No, it was not even a harlot, just a slutty woman. Depraved and descended as I am, and then my friends. However, the money she loved and took them with me at every opportunity and an awkward case. Do you think, father Nicephorus, that it can still be considered a whore? Well, so be it.Her name was Anisia, years she was over thirty, a little less than I was then.

My relationship with her me reminded of what was once the harem of sultans Guzun with the eunuch Malik. Can't say that I'm Anisia, experienced anything like the pleasure of carnal love. Yes, I am for years after a separation with his wife Eudoxia and forgot what it is. But something certainly felt. I don't even know what to compare the feelings of a eunuch, indulging in perverse pleasures with experienced depraved woman, even after a considerable number of drunk Braga. Well, maybe to be with feelings fat old cat that purrs when it is stroked and scratching behind his ear.

Gradually I drank and walk with Anisia all the money that left me Matilda. He became a little to sell boats and horses. Light propyl. Can you imagine, father Nicephorus, that the Prince drank his horse? However, I have long do not sit down at him: so fat that he could hardly hold the saddle, when riding all the time slipped on one and on the other side. Also a shame for a person who was once a warrior. Old age is another matter, but I then it was still very far from old age.

Because binge drinking I didn't even pay any attention to the fact that in the twelfth year (1204 – approx. transl.) Rurik Rostislavich in Alliance with the ol'govichi of Chernigov and Polovtsy in the course of the next strife captured Kiev and subjected him to terrible ruin. More this once great city has never had prior values for Russia.

Yes, father Nicephorus, the capture by the crusaders in the same year, Constantinople I, too, paid no attention. And you even fought on its walls? Wow! Well that survived.

That Mathilda may back, I almost forgot. Or maybe thought she might never come back again. But fourteenth (1206 – approx. transl.), when I turned forty, she back.

It was, as it is now I remember a summer afternoon. I was lying in bed with a heavy head after drinking on the eve of. Anisa, too, with a heavy head, in the form of indecent roamed bedroom. In the next room and downstairs snored some of my friends of the revelers. Looked like a house, can imagine. Especially if compare with what it was before the departure of the Germans, who have followed very closely cleanliness and order: I heard that all Germans are like that.

When the bottom came the voice of Matilda, I decided that I was dreaming. But it was not a dream. She rose on the second floor, walked into the bedroom and told Anisya to get dressed and go. The tried to make a scene in the spirit of Russian women: cried to "Mashka" itself failed from home "Balalayki", and tried to grab the "Maschke" in the hair. I don't managed to warn Anisya, and in a moment she was lying on the floor, frantically gasping for air: German struck her agile and quick kick in the stomach.

The cries ran one of the my friends and tried to grab her hands. But immediately got a heavy blow to the ear and not with a flourish as the beat on our fist fights, and short, accurate, not side, and bottom. The huge man fell stunned.

Matilda came up to me, called a dirty Russian pig and slapped. For the first time in my life, once proud Rurikovich, insulted, and hit by the woman. And I stand guilty and bowed his head.

Then the German threw out home and Anisya, and all my friends-hawk moths. Got to give her credit: drunken my money is not spared as well, as when due to my lack of foresight in the sea of Galilee and drowned all our Treasury. Said she left a bit money in the stash, for the first time will suffice. But if I ever get drunk, I don't be good.

Immediately after arrival she hired a healer who used herbs and I did the adjustment, and then drunkenness led to the fact that I began to look like a very old man. Don't forget father Nicephorus, that I was a eunuch and had to constantly maintain their health, otherwise I was waiting for imminent death. And my death Matilda still wanted: it was still convenient to hide behind the name of the merchant Thalaleas Karpovich from Tmutarakan.

She began to force me to exercise what I have never done before. Not gave me to overeat. Imagine, I lost some weight and became better feel. And quit drinking. At all. Was so afraid of this woman. We in Russia in such cases we say that there is a silver lining.

Gradually recovered. Asked Matilda if she found with the help of his uncle, the Templar the ability to affect great Prince Vsevolod Georgievich to he again began construction of the stone. She said that she was not found, my uncle was not the right connections in Byzantium, but how to influence Vsevolod – invented. And commanded me to learn all about Constantine, the eldest son of the Grand Duke.

I went to the auction and his many friends found out everything I could. Konstantin Vsevolodovich was almost twenty years younger than me. Shortly before he became interested in Matilda, the father sent him to reign in Novgorod, but in this city he spent quite short and immediately returned to Vladimir – however, still being considered Prince of Novgorod. Just father when he was calmer than the turbulent Northern merchant Republic.

Already the tenth year of life the father had married Constantine on Radislav, daughter of Smolensk Prince Mstislav Romanovich. Remember is especially interested in German. Not that Radislav was the daughter of the Prince of Smolensk, and the fact that Constantine married so before. As I explained to Matilda, in her early marriages exclusively from dynastic reasons, people are seldom happy. And then they are often not drawn to the young age and Mature women – it is so, what was it, Matilda.

I immediately understand the emotional pain that she was going to seduce Constantine, as once seduced Bartholomew. But I thought that its purpose is only to receive contract for the transportation of white stone that she hopes through Constantine's influence Vsevolod, that he again began construction of the stone. God, how wrong I was!

I was wrong to such an extent that even wanted to help Matilda to seduce the young Prince, and suggested she hire some tramps so they like attacked her in the the moment when there will pass to Constantine, who, like a true knight, banish vagrants, and so they met. But she said that this vintage reception Dating with the right person is no good here, because Constantine, like all princes, touring the city riding and always armed, that is, it can not only to get rid of the attackers but catch them. Caught a tramp can tell you who and why he was hired.

So she have done differently. Sat in a little cart, drawn by two horses, and horses she knew how to manage perfectly, that I realized a long time ago, during the battle at Arsuf. Got out on the street, where they often went to Constantine. At the right moment when the Prince was near, and the other riders were not around, did what the horses suffered. You don't know, father Nicephorus, how is it done? Yes very just need to inflict a strong blow from the tip of the whip on the most sensitive . This should be able to skillfully handle a whip, and Matilda is could.

Then everything went as it should. Constantine was thin, had a sickly appearance, but it was Prince had a complete military training, and it was a very straightforward spur your gorgeous horse and suffered to grab the horses by the bridle, the more they raced at him: the German had calculated everything very well. She became to thank the Prince and asked me to walk her home because she was allegedly afraid, that horses again will suffer. So they met. She, by the way, since called "my brave knight", and he is, of course, very much.

Soon Mathilde became his mistress, and for the next two years I saw her rarely. Since he was married, they could not meet in his Palace. To come to the house merchant Thalaleas Prince, too, was uncomfortable. So they rented a home, German settled there, and he secretly visited.

Then he went to Novgorod – still was the Prince of Novgorod, and he had at least occasionally to appear there. She had cut her hair short, wore men's clothes and went with him under the guise of his squire. Nobles of the inner circle Constantine knew it was for the squire, but had been filed, many of them also were the "squires". No, father Nicephorus, not men used to godless sodomite pleasures, namely dressed women. However, some young men were.

But I won't like the prophet Jeremiah, and ardently denounce the Prince and the boyars. He was a sinner. Not only that helped Matilda in her far-reaching insidious plans. And that I then re-emerged a woman. When the German left Constantine, under pain of death, forbade me to drink, but were allowed to have mistress. Well, for the same relationship I had with Anisia. Moreover – Matilda she found me a woman. Whore. How much it cost German – I don't know, but I have the harlot of money never asked. Justdid his job, and I must say, well done, I with it was even better than with Anisia.

And to me was deputed the old warrior Kondrat Klimovich of team Constantine Vsevolodovich. Duty Kondrat was to ensure that I did not drink, was moderate in eating, exercising – in short, behaved correctly. All the money was his, and he gave me what I thought was right. This reason I just remembered his uncle-pestun kornelu Ioannovich and bitterness I thought that Mathilde treats me like a small child. However, I knew that to blame for this, and not even offended.

Now rest for a few minutes and it will continue. Just don't let me sleep or I'll fall asleep and won't Wake up, and I still it is necessary to say much.



Part VI,

recorded Peter, a monk of the Abbey of St. Catherine in Riga


Than I years was engaged? Yes, nothing special. Walked around Vladimir. Accompanied by Kondrat I went out of town for a new horse, which I bought instead of Light. And I went to Church. Particularly pious, I confess, I've never been, and there was to attend all services without exception. You know, father Nicephorus, that if strictly to visit all the service, while all the rest remains very little.

Again became contemplated retiring to a monastery, but did not dare. Probably not enough the depth of faith in God. I'm in fervent parishioner turned not from a sudden deep belief, and, frankly, nothing better to do. Sorry me for this candor, but even worse would be to lie on a deathbed confession.

During this time Matilda went with Constantine to Novgorod, then with his army to March on Ryazan: Vsevolod the Big Nest was there to fight with Chernigov Olegoviches and told his son to join. In the course of this feud Ryazan was burned, looted a few towns and many villages. Neither the Ryazan princes, nor the ruled in Chernigov Vsevolod Chermnyy, Seversky, nor rulers, among whom were my sons, nothing has withstood the power of Suzdal. Thank the Lord, from the ol'govichi, no one died.

Apparently, the Grand Duke Vsevolod was pleased with the son because back in Vladimir sixteenth year (1208 – approx. transl.) gave it for an inheritance to the Rostov – along with Suzdal's oldest town of the Principality, besides, in Rostov from the time Vladimir Monomakh lived the bishops of Suzdal. In addition to Rostov Constantine got five more cities – if I'm not mistaken, Yaroslavl, Beloozero, The Mologa, Uglich and Veliky Ustyug. It was a huge honor, other sons Vsevolod any portions not received.

And that's Constantine went to reign in Rostov. Matilda took with her. Wife Radislava with children he left in Vladimir, promised to take when settling in a new place. So, did not.

After a couple of months after the departure of Constantine, I received the Prince's invitation to come to Rostov. Yes, that princely, that is, invited me himself Rostov Prince, which in itself has been very honorable. It was felt that Matilda is not in vain spent with him time. From it, too, was a note that said she was told to leave Kondrat Klimovich to watch Vladimir's house and go to Rostov, one. To accompany me was the warrior who brought the invitation.

When I arrived in Rostov, I must confess I was shocked. No, in any case, no city: an ordinary Russian the city, much less Vladimir, with wooden walls on the ramparts, standing on the plain near a large lake Nero. The only thing that I noticed – it is on the ruins of a huge white-stone Cathedral, just one that was built Bartholomew according to drawings of architect Frederick Barbarossa. Five years before my arrival in Rostov there was a big fire, and the temple collapsed.

And shocked I was city, and the fact that this city was a harem. Yes, it is a harem. In the Palace Prince Constantine.

It turns out that even during March on Ryazan Matilda felt that the young Prince started to her to cool off, and recovered quickly started to put on his bed young women, after teaching them both the Sciences. Hence has been one step for the creation of a real harem, where the German played the role of either mother sultans, whether the eldest wife, or kaznachey, or all of them together.

Vladimir Constantine afraid to make a harem, but in Rostov, where he was the absolute ruler, and there were no mortal nor Radislava, afraid there was nothing. Of course, to keep a harem so openly like Eastern rulers, the Prince of Rostov: Russia is still an Orthodox country. But in the secret rooms of the Prince's Palace they with the German did it. However, Salah al-DIN, as you remember, was five hundred concubines and the harem of Rostov Konstantin – only forty. Accordingly, it was less and maidservants, and the eunuch was generally only one. It is easy to guess that theyI was a gentleman Falaley Karpovich.

Yes, I misspoke: immediately on arrival in Rostov I was granted nobility. And, it seems, boyars, or other dignitaries is not angered. Such were the mores at the court of the young Rostov sovereign Prince. By the way, when it took me about awards, it seemed to me that he looks even more painful than before.

Last thing I needed was again become a harem eunuch, and I told Matilda about it. But she said, I few years doing nothing, just nothing ate her bread, and now more and received the nobility, and all this should work. And as always, I had nothing to object to it. My sin: I agreed to be in Rostov "the main gatekeeper doors of happiness."

Apparently, the German is strongly inspired Constantine stories about Salah ad-DIN. East to Rostov harem was not only like, but the whole situation: I always went with the servants to bargain for carpets, spices, Islamic clothing, dishes and stuff like that. The Prince took a few "happy" concubines even when rode with a team their possession. Also just like Salah ad-DIN. The only difference is what the Sultan was doing it openly, and Prince – as if secretly: Rostov "happy" were disguised soldiers, and was a special squad. At the head of this group wentwe are with Matilda, also dressed as in men's clothing. Nobles and retainers when our "host" tried to hide a smile. They did this not at all.

In short, becoming a gentleman, I have not found any happiness and peace of mind, on the contrary, was doomed to shame. Even now, lying on his deathbed, I am ashamed not only about this to tell, and even remember! In Palestine, visits the Sultan's harem at the head the eunuchs were not only in the order of things, but also aroused widespread respect, but then I was still Orthodox in his native country!

Yes, father Nicephorus, to our Church – ask the question. In Rostov, after all, lived John, Bishop of all Suzdal! But this worthy old man, who held the Department for twenty years, or about anything did not guess, whether because of the elderly do not have the strength to deal with the disastrous damage of morals in his diocese. Of in three or four years after my arrival in Rostov he did left the pulpit and retired to a monastery. Maybe because of his disagreement with Constantine, maybe just old age. I do not know.

Came as it is now remember, the nineteenth year (1211 – approx. transl.). A late summer evening Matilda came to my residence. I was going to sleep, and not one to me for known goals went to one of the concubines, which once was "happy", but since then, Constantine was no longer interested in them. German reproachfully looked at us and ordered the concubine to fail, which she immediately and implicitly performed. To me Matilda was ordered to sit down to write.

And I'm under her dictation wrote a letter to the Grand Prince Vsevolod. Or rather, accusation. Without the signature. In this the denunciation has been described in detail everything that happens in the harem of Constantine. Not just described, with exaggeration. For example, Matilda said that in the harem allegedly forcibly take not only young girls but also little girls and then these accidents are all prisoners. What Constantine brings marriage in the harem of children as future princes. In the harem of go Mohammedan rites, torture and executions.

In fact, Constantine have always preferred Mature women, and no little girls in the harem was not. And some out of the ordinary debauchery, too, was not: some nobles and not then get up in bath with a dozen other girls their yard. Was not special seclusion, no one in the harem forcibly took, on the contrary – Matilda recruited in the villages peasant women, and sometimes, trading – servants and whores, and these women were happy to live in a princely Palace in the warmth, comfort and abundance. Marriage in the harem of children does not become a Prince: they didthe same as with the children of the Prince from the usual domestics girls – giving good content sometimes even ranked as the noble class, but no more. Well, torture the execution and Mohammedan rituals – all of it was in Damascus at the Salah-al-DIN, but no no way in Rostov Konstantin.

But the whole accusation seemed plausible, as the very existence of the harem of Mohammedan the sample was Orthodox Russia out of the ordinary event, and details already was not so important.

Remember, I still I wondered why a German would want to make such a denunciation, even with the many exaggeration. "She undermines their power", I thought. Asked her question, but she said no time to explain, someday. Never explained.

I wrote the entire night. He wrote slowly, as she told to do it not in their handwriting. Then rewrote it four more times, with the appeal not to the great Prince Vsevolod G., and to his four younger sons – George, Yaroslav, Vladimir and Svyatoslav.

When I'm under morning all finished, she told me to sleep and relax, as the next night should be heavy, and the next few days even harder.

And the next evening in Rostov started a large fire. At the far end of town, so to the princely Palace, thank the Lord, the fire didn't spread. Burned only poor quarters, they accounted for almost half of Rostov. Burned a lot wooden churches. I watched from the Windows of the Palace at the glow and try to understand that was referring to Matilda, saying that the next night will be difficult. Does she foresaw the fire?

But earlier in the morning when the fire was only just extinguished, she told me to go to Vladimir, which at that time was Constantine. In case, if I was stopped at the the way to any military post and asked where I was going and why, I have had to answer that carry the Prince the news about the fire.

But I wasn't supposed to say anything to Constantine: surely messengers to him sent and city government, and Rostov, the Supreme Governor, and the Bishop. A must I was to convey to the Grand Prince Vsevolod the denunciation, written the night before. In Vladimir Grand-Ducal Palace was a special window where you could put similar messages, and we knew about all the letters if they were written on good parchment, Vsevolod reported: in Russia on this parchment he wrote only the most serious people on the most serious occasions.

And four such same letter I had to deliver to the homes of young princes, and to transmit the gatekeepers. So I did not know I had to be dressed on-kupecheski, wear on the face of the armband, supposedly a toothache, presented the Palestinian merchant and say only Arabic. Do not understand – do not worry, the letters are written in Russian, whom they are intended.

And I got in the wagon, drawn by two of our best horses and gone. Rule itself: Matilda couldn't entrust such a secret deed of any one of our servants. Attacks robbers I did not fear: a path between Vladimir and Rostov was a busy and it was many military posts. And really, I rode well. So along the way I met Constantine and he would not turn me back, German told me to go through Georgiev-Opole, because he knew that the Prince always goes through from Vladimir Suzdal.

Now I understand that coincidences were too many. Constantine during a fire in Rostov was not, and because of this she has the opportunity to send me in Vladimir – ostensibly to report a fire, and actually get the email causing anyone's suspicion. And the German warned me about the rough night. It turns out she intentionally set fire to the town.

Here's scary story. Matilda has become like the godless pagan Emperor Nero. Although the arson of Rome by Nero I always thought a legend, and there was a cruel true story and that fire burned people. I think a lot: in the poor neighborhoods the houses stood crowded, and to escape from the fire was not easy, especially that it was night. Pray, father Nicephorus, for the repose Rostovtsev, who died through the fault of insidious the Germans. And my fault, it turns out, too: though I did not know she was going to set fire to the town, but helped everything else. That's how I sinful.

When I arrived in Vladimir, Constantine was no longer there: the other runners overtook me, and the Prince hastily moved to Rostov. All the messages I was given: I have already in the thoughts did not arise to disrupt the evil plans of Matilda.

Apparently, to Vsevolod Vsevolodovich and younger and heard rumors before about what Konstantin of Rostov, so they believed the accusation fully and unconditionally. Scandal in the Royal family has turned out great. One day, when I Prince of Rylsk, in the basement of my house stood a large barrel of wine. Wine turned out to be bad, ferment, bung was fitting too tightly, this barrel broke with such force that the entire wooden Palace shook, dishes fell from the shelves, from iconic povyletali glass. About the same happenedin Vladimir, just as the barrel was Mathildine message. Wow, father Nicephorus, I was still able to speak eloquently.

Then Matilda told me that among the princes chief troublemaker was the third son of Vsevolod – Jaroslav. Immediately after receiving the letter he appeared to the father and demanded the inheritance for himself and the other brothers to say: why the depraved and the apostate Constantine the lot there, and a decent Prince no? Other brothers who also wanted the inheritance, supported Yaroslav. Vsevolod who was terribly upset because of the behaviour of his eldest son, not couldn't refuse and agreed to give the inheritance.

Great the Prince was nearly sixty, and he of grief fell deathly ill. No wonder: ruined everything he did all his life. And not only he, but his elder brother Andrey Bogolyubsky and the father of George Dolgorukiy. After all, and George, and Andrew, and to the time Vsevolod piously observed the unity of his Suzdal and nobody gave principalities. And apparently, Vsevolod realized what a terrible mistake he have done, giving the lot of Constantine, and what is bitter for it to be paid for.

And Constantine at this time, suspecting nothing, had in Rostov, aid to fire victims. So what insidious calculation Matilda again proved to be accurate: somehow justified before the father and brothers of the Rostov Prince could not.

And Vsevolod G. started giving sons. The case is not always easy to any great Prince, and for a seriously ill, bedridden Vsevolod, and even more so.

After a long disputes Yaroslav got Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, Svyatoslav – Georgiev-opolskie Vladimir – Pereslavl-South. George the great Prince was going to give Rostov, and Constantine out to take in Vladimir.

The idea Vsevolod was clear. Since after his death Constantine was the eldest son – was to be Grand Prince of Vladimir, he wanted to prepare a son to the Vladimir Principality, but at the same time and cut him off from Rostov harem pleasures and return to his wife Radislav that and lived with the children in Vladimir.

But when Constantine received from his father a message demanding Rostov and Georgy to go in Vladimir – he was stubborn. First, it was a shame to leave Rostov, which he sincerely loved, and Rostov he was paid the same, despite going in the city rumors about the Prince's harem. Secondly, he didn't want to leave the harem and to return to the unloved wife. Thirdly, he and his nobles did not want to lose autonomy: because it was unknown how long I'll live, Vsevolod. So I will reiterate, father Nicephorus, that the clever German had calculated everything correctly:Constantine refused to go to Vladimir and remained in Rostov. With the harem. So the position of the Matilda is not only not weakened, but rather strengthened.

Vsevolod couple of times had sent messengers to eldest son, but was again refused. And finally, the great Prince broke down and decided whether Konstantin of Rostov – let remains in its Rostov. Called the sons of boyars, priests, and bequeathed to Vladimir, that is great reign, not Constantine, and George his second son, a few years younger older.

Did the dying the Grand Duke, and thus violate not only established by his father Indivisibility Dolgoruky of Suzdal, but also secular princes ladder, prevailing in Russia since the times of Yaroslav the Wise? Again remember exploding in my Rilsky Palace barrel: did Vsevolod that puts in the basement of the state another big barrel with more of the bad wine? I do not know. But soon, in the twentieth (1212 – approx. transl.), he gave his soul to God, and it only remained to wait for the barrel will explode and will shake not only the Grand-Ducal family, but also the whole Russia.

Brothers Vsevolodovich, not looking into each other's eyes, the funeral of the father in Vladimir the Cathedral of the blessed virgin Mary and left for their inheritance.

Constantine, having arrived to Rostov, too, became known as the Grand Duke – Vladimir, and Rostov. And so it happened that because of the scandal caused by denunciation Matilda, Suzdal land was divided into two States. Again I remembered the old hatred between the "original capital" – Rostov "new" Vladimir, again, as at the beginning of Prince Dolgoruky, the Rostov people began to call Vladimirtsev "their slaves – kaminoseki and Divadelni".

As always happens in such cases, from one great Prince to another and began to move nobles and dignitaries. And here occurred a significant event: Georgieva-Opole to Rostov has arrived the young Prince Svyatoslav.

I not immediately understood why Svyatoslav moved to Constantine than they could to hurt George the younger brother, received an inheritance Georgiev-Opole. Then it turned out that the fact, too, was the letter of Matilda, which this time played the role of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yes, the same one that eve gave Adam. Svyatoslav, seventeen-year-old boy, after reading this letter, smitten low desires and set out to host Georgieva same harem as his older brother in Rostov.

But in Georgieva, he had the same difficulty as Konstantin in Vladimir. I mean legitimate wives. Constantine was Radislav, Svyatoslav – Evdokia. Then these young Libertines were a bit shy with their spouse. So Svyatoslav left Evdokia Georgieva and went to Rostov, which through the efforts of Matilda turned, God forgive me, if not in Sodom, in Gomorrah.

Constantine and German has welcomed Svyatoslav, and in the mansion, where he settled, was arranged a small harem of ten concubines. I concurrently was "the main the gatekeeper of the doors of happiness" there. That's how low I've sunk, here are difficult my sins.

You not paying attention, father Nicephorus that the arts are often inclined that is depraved and unstable nature? And that's how unfair obtained: from these unworthy Libertines, which, in theory, would have to sink into Oblivion, be beautiful buildings, statues and many other things that we called the word "art". No wonder, perhaps, the Church believes that the word descended from "temptation". Right, father Nicephorus? Never my soul did not lie to art, although I could not admire them: after all, I once got a good education and something of an expert in beauty.

To what I said? Forgot. I told you not to give me distraction. Oh Yes, here's the point: Constantine and Svyatoslav between sinful harem pleasures took up architecture. Also an art, though pleasing to God.

Already a year after Vsevolod's death, Konstantin laid in Rostov, the new Cathedral, who was going to build on the ruins. Around were the ruins of the old the Church and white stone for the building was complete, to resume its production is not required. From Smolensk was again invited the aged but still vigorous The Antipas dzmitrovich, and Svyatoslav decided to learn from him the architectural skills.

Yet dismantled the ruins of the Rostov Cathedral, Antipas began to build in Rostov and Yaroslavl churches of the small plinths, which were made of local clay, obzhigovaja right there on the site. Within two years (1214-1215 years approx. transl.) was built a small Church of Boris and Gleb The Rostov Cathedral of the blessed virgin in Yaroslavl – a little more. Plinthite but is decorated with carved white stone.

Us Mathilde construction contracts was not interested in princely harems brought us much more money than you could bring the manufacture of bricks, and extraction and transportation of white stone – incomparable sources of income – has not yet been conducted. For making statues for temples plinthite was enough stone from the ruins of the Rostov Cathedral.

The Antipas began to build another Church in Yaroslavl, dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Saviour (construction it was completed in 1224 – approx. transl.), Rostov almost finished dismantling the ruins of the city Cathedral (the new Cathedral was built only to 1231 – approx. transl.), but then began the most internecine war, Constantine with Svyatoslav was not up to the building, and Smolensk the architect went home.

I need to tell you about this war, as it lies almost entirely on conscience Matilda, and hence my. In fact, after the story of anonymous and Testament of the late Vsevolod war could not begin, and the question was only that before it starts or later. Wanted war Constantine, so how did you feel unfairly deprived of the great Vladimir Principality. Wanted war George, because he knew that his army stronger, and in case of victory, he can finally be recognized Grand Prince of all Suzdal land.

Justice I say, father Nicephorus that the brothers tried to coexist peacefully. George even achieved the Kiev Metropolitan institutions for the Vladimir individual the diocese, not to depend on Rostov in Church Affairs. Tried they to negotiate. George suggested to Constantine that first proposed by the late Vsevolod: Constantine – Vladimir, George – Rostov. But Constantine agreed to give the younger brother only the city of Suzdal, as in the case of classes Vladimir he intended to plant in Rostov his son Vasylko. Of course, that George could not hold.

In the twenty-third year (1215 – approx. transl.) Constantine and George twice went out with their armies toward each other, but each time went without battle. No one dared to attack first. Even Jaroslav, on the side George, not trying to induce Grand Duke Vladimir to start a fratricidal war. Both sides sought allies to achieve a decisive superiority and force the enemy to surrender, without bringing the matter to a lot of blood.

Allies George were all his younger brothers, it was enough. Yes, father Nicephorus, I misspoke: all. When the strife, Sviatoslav moved from Rostov to your Georgiev-Opole and joined George Vsevolodovich. It was only later we learned that the transition Svyatoslav was feigned, he just didn't to George and Jaroslav ruined his destiny, which was dangerously close to Vladimir. And while Constantine was left alone. A large army Rostov put he could, and against him was Vladimir, and Suzdal, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, and Moscow, and Georgiev-Opole.

It seemed would the older Vsevolodovich could only surrender. He was terribly worried, of his harem almost did not go – was looking for oblivion in adulterous pleasures. It already had not that painful, just become a shadow.

But the Prince forgot that his side was Matilda. Probably, the destructive power of this tricky, treacherous and heartless intriguer cost of several teams and militias.

It turned out so I was witness to an important conversation the Germans with the Prince. Once in the evening I and Matilda was sitting in the great hall of the harem, and suddenly became Constantine. Not even nodding in response to our bows, he did not hesitate to me, immediately turned to Mathilde and asked her opinion about whether he will give the brothers the winners in the reign of at least some of the city.

German replied Constantine, to give up early. The enemies are strong, but George Gromov weak as a leader, and Yaroslav, he is unlikely to give a command. So, if you find Rostovtsev good commander, there will be considerable a chance to win in a decisive battle. And her mind was already a military leader – famous all over Russia Mstislav Mstislavich, nicknamed Udachnym (Lucky; another option his nickname is Scrappy. Approx. transl.). Reigned it in a little the city of Toropets, and tended to Smolensk, but a year or two before the conversation between Matilda and Constantine invited him to reign to his Novgorod. This city led a series of wars and with Vsevolod the Big Nest, and with the order of the sword (modeled the order of Templars in Riga, founded shortly before, in 1202. Approx. transl.), and with such a talented commander, as Mstislav Udatny, famous in the campaigns against the Polovtsy in the southern Russian strife, was Novgorod just necessary.

Constantine said he would be happy to invite Mstislav from Novgorod a team, but does not know how to do it: peace between Novgorod and Suzdal the ground is still not concluded, the military action that commenced at the time Vsevolod the Big Nest, continues Yaroslav Vsevolodovich and he recently took Novgorod Novy Torg (Torzhok now – approx. transl.), not conceded in Novgorod bread and is literally strangling the Novgorodians to death.

"So what could be better? – exclaimed the German. – Even choking, the more likely Novgorod will go to the Union with us. As they say in the East, the enemy of your enemy may be your best friend! In Regensburg's my uncle, a high – ranking knight of the Temple, and he certainly has the ability to affect the order of the sword. I will contribute to the conclusion of peace between the order and Novgorod, and at peace negotiations on your behalf will offer Mstislav Union."

Constantine did not belong to the Templars with the same prejudice as his late father, and to him this idea liked. The next day he sent an Embassy, which was to go first in Regensburg – von der Hirsch, and then to Riga, to the great the master of the order of the sword Volquin von Vintershtayn. The nominal head of the the Embassy was someone of princely officials, but was on the grill, of course Matilda.

I wouldn't even to warn me to in her absence did not drink: I was always led to Constantine concubines, and it turned out that my behavior follows the Prince himself. And he was sober, it was enough other vices. Well, you know what.

And here in the winter, at the beginning twenty-fourth year (1216 – approx. transl.), Rostov spread the news to the aid of Grand Prince Konstantin suitable Prince Mstislav Udatny with the Novgorod, Smolensk and toropetskiy squads!

Yes, Matilda all it turned out perfectly. Thanks to her efforts, the order of the sword went Novgorod on an honorable peace, and acted as a mediator in the negotiations with Rostovtsev Novgorod. What an unnatural situation: the Latins mediated between Orthodox! In case of victory of Matilda, on behalf of Constantine promised Udatnogo to attach to his Toropetskiy Tver Principality and Novgorod to return New Torg. In the end, the contract was signed, and the German triumphal arrived to Rostov together with Mstislav.

However, the enthusiasm Rostovtsev eased somewhat when a squad of Mstislav entered the city: they are all together numbered only a few hundred people. But Udatny immediately after arrival in Rostov has begun to form combined forces. Novgorod, Smolyan and toropchina, experienced soldiers who were placed on the chief posts, and under their leadership, the Rostov militia turned from unmanaged the crowd in trained shelves.

And in April, as just ran out to thaw, Mstislav led the army to March, he decided not to wait while attack George. Army was Konstantin: it had to be done, without him the Rostov would not obey Udatnogo. In military Affairs Konstantin not coming, but took with him the infamous "special detachment" – one dozen "happy" from his harem. Headed this "detachment" Matilda and me.

Yes, imagine that, a father Nicephorus, I went camping, despite the fact that I was nearly half a century. This is it was the duty of a nobleman, and I didn't want her to wriggle out. I will not to say that I decided to atone for their sins heroic death it would be true. Just leaped to something in the shower. Probably wanted himself again to feel worthy warrior.

Exercise I'm still a little involved, and it might be fine to ride. Though was still fat, and the horse I had to plant. However, all the way I did in the wagon and on the horse sat only in the day of battle. And the hike was Russian standards minded: from Rostov to Georgieva-opolskie, nearby which met opponents, only a few days journey on foot.

George and his younger brothers were ready for action, but hesitated because I was waiting for a messenger from Constantine with the news of the surrender, and even the Prince of Rostov guilt head. And came the news that moving army. Then Junior Vsevolodovich out to meet. As expected, Matilda, commanded himself George.

Numerical the advantage of the regiments George was huge. In his army went in squads and militia the largest and richest cities of Suzdal – Vladimir Georgiev, Suzdal, Pereslavl and Moscow. All Junior Vsevolodovich were thousands fifteen soldiers, and even more. We have barely five.

Our the advantage was the strategic talent Mstislav. The enemy only experienced and talented military leader was Jaroslav, but big brother George command did not give him – and not because he wanted to solve everything, but because tried to maintain a balance between their younger brothers, and they would have quarreled on the way to the field of battle. In the end, thanks to the efforts of George the army came to Georgieva-Opole intact, there joined the regiment Svyatoslav.

Battle happened at the end of April twenty-fourth year at the river Lipitsy (exact the location of this battle is still unknown – approx. transl.). Troops approached the field of battle the day before the battle. Georgy Vsevolodovich had made their the army on the hill, Mstislav below, for a small stream, a tributary in Lipica.

The next morning George was in no hurry to build shelves in order of battle, infantry and cavalry stood mixed. Apparently, he was fully confident in his abilities and waited for Constantine or stand on the defensive, or even give up seeing him superiority. And the position gave him, as he thought, a great advantage: the army stood on the hill in front of him was the Creek, with the two sides to the hill came woods back field, which was well visible. On the edge fields proceeded Lipica.

If I was next to George, told him about the battle with Kali, where the army of Igor Svyatoslavich similarly stood on the hill and eventually lost his freedom of movement. But I was close to Constantine. Rostov Prince with his retinue and "special order" undercover soldiers "happy" – stood behind the troops and not interfere in the command of Mstislav Udatnogo.

I have something understand military Affairs, and sincerely admire Mstislav. He truly did a miracle.

He got off horse, he headed on foot militia and slowly went forward against the enemy. The soldiers were moving after the Prince orderly, in order, to run no one passed. Even swords no one was exposed, the spears were lowered down, the archers abandoned their arms behind his back. All banners were deployed, and loud music was playing.

The enemy was taken aback. Maybe even at first thought that Udatny is going to give up. Because the enemy archers did not shoot.

And here with the two sides came the battle cry. It turns out that Mstislav the evening sent our the few cavalry in the bypass position George – the two sides, through the the woods, who approached the hill. As the riders managed night to get forests and not get lost – God knows. Fortunately for us, the night was moon, and, apparently, they were guided by the light of the moon. And one of these regiments still had to Wade Lipica, which in April deep and cold. Well done, one word.

All thought what Mstislav ordered to go with loud music, whether out of molodechestva. But this the music was the signal for standing in forests cavalry, Udatny had calculated everything very well.

In his foremost, the cry of our cavalry was the signal for Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich. All his regiment George-Opole shouted, "Surround!", turned and amicably left the field of battle. Apparently, everything was already prepared, even surrounded by the warriors of Svyatoslav cried suspiciously orderly.

Panic which began in the ranks of the rest of George's regiments, it is difficult to describe. Our cavalry, coming out of the woods and up the hill, hit the army, and the fleeing crowds. And run it themselves, and nowhere in the front was advancing Mstislav, right and on the left the cavalry. Trying to escape was only possible in the field, through which shortly before the latter left the regiment Svyatoslav. In this field, and began massacre. The Vladimir, Suzdal, Pereyaslavets and Muscovites fell under the blows of the swords, trampled each other, screaming for help.

There was a time to sound a retreat and take prisoners. Give the command on the end could either Mstislav, or Constantine himself. But Udatny was still walking up the hill and could not to see that the enemy is utterly defeated. Constantine also published was perfectly clear all, and he turned, looking through the eyes of the trumpeter.

Here Matilda rushed to him and said, "O great Prince! If you now tell to play release, your enemies will soon recover and again rise up against you."

Prince second thought and uttered a cry: "take no Prisoners!". And he jumped forward, ahead Pesci Mstislav, is hack running. Behind him rushed his whole entourage, including and I.

And I confess, hacked I many. Here's what happened: went to battle to feel a worthy warrior, and felt the brutal killer. I'm on Lipica mercilessly exterminated not filthy Polovtsy, once in the campaigns of Igor Svyatoslavich, and their Orthodox compatriots.

A little eases my sin only that the red mist came upon all without exception. Of beating up the unfortunate warriors George even made "happy" video after sitting on horseback in full military garb. I didn't expect that my Dunyasha, Glasha and Architects will be with the evil screeching and distorted faces to bring down the sword on the heads of defenseless people. Moreover – to do it with obvious pleasure. However, since the days of the harem Salah-ad-DIN I knew that women are generally more cruel than men, no wonder one of the worst harem of the executions wasto give the guilty at the mercy of her companions. I seem about it already told. But there was still cunning and evil of an Oriental woman, and then – a simple Russian peasant woman and Amateur girls.

Only Matilda left behind: I was not the first time noticed that she needs blood does not shed. And why she was to kill someone: her fault now killed thousands of young, healthy, strong Russian people. You can tell the color Suzdal land.

Yes, father Nicephorus, thousands. After Lipetskoy of the battle of Constantine, boasted that the enemy lost nine thousand two hundred thirty-three people from our side were only six dead. (The brag of Constantine was reflected in the Russian Chronicles – approx. transl.). In fact, this ratio loss does not happen in any battle, we still confronted the armed army, and not a flock of sheep. Yes, and it is doubtful that someone with such accuracy to count all the corpses, lying side by side on the field. But what army George has lost many thousands of soldiers, dozens of times more than the army of Constantine, it is beyond doubt. Himself George and his younger brothers managed to escape, and they fled to their cities.

Such bloody internecine battles, as Lipitskaya, in Suzdal has never was. The hussars then sang the squares: "scary and wondrous miracle, brothers! Went sons to fathers and fathers to children, brothers to brothers, slaves to masters, and Lord on slaves." Repent to you, father Nicephorus, I didn't care about that: I still, the Prince, and our family always loved Monomakh and happy met the news of their strife. But the fact that this battle will not lead to next redistribution of the tables, and to the weakening and, eventually, death of the entire country – I even imagine I could.

Now I'm fine understand what the consequences of the strife, the more bloody. Even if reign becomes peaceful start moving the boyars and officials, and while they when you get settled in a new place, Principality generally no controls. But if strife? The nobles defeated the Prince flee, pursue new officials old owning to redraw, written endless denunciations. And this is in addition to the direct damage from the war – killed people, etched crops, looted and burned of towns and villages.

Yeah, I already told you about this, simply very much I care, despite the fact that I was standing on the edge the grave. Still, I Rurikovich, and the fate of the country I indifferent not left, no matter what the wily Matilda! Yes, I was weak, came under its effect. But I didn't know much, and just yesterday my eyes finally opened. Or is it already yesterday? I seem to lose track of time. Thank you, father Nicephorus, what took you so long and patiently hear my confession. Not so much priests so well perform her duty as a Christian. Another, maybenot even hearing me, said, "my Son, in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy spirit I absolve you of your sins, go in peace," and go, Orthodox, Boris, at the light. No, I understand that this is also a remission of sins, and would be grateful for it, but my conscience, it did not facilitate.

But again, I digress. Three days after the battle Lipetskoy Constantine triumphantly entered into Vladimir. George met him with a guilty head, took the oath of allegiance, was in the reign of Gorodets on the Volga and departed there. Us Matilda was given in award a lot of money and land with many villages. So I was not just a noble, boyar-landowner.

So I the third time became a noble, a wealthy and influential man. Was Prince Svyatoslav Olgovich, then became Agha al-Battal-Rus Boris Ibn Oleg, later, boyar Thalaleas by Karpovich. Only the first honorary title I received birth, the second – due to its military exploits, and third – price shame and dishonor.

Speaking of dishonor: Mstislav Udatnogo that Constantine owed his lipetskoy the victory soon had been deceived, and to his Toropetskiy Tver Principality had not joined. And that he could not insist on the execution of the contract, based on the strength of Novgorod, – Suzdal Novgorod returned to New Bargaining, and satisfied that in Novgorod the chamber is not supported by Mstislav's claims. So cleverly did Constantine – of course, again on the advice of the wily Matilda. Offended Mstislav left to his Toropets.

And my German moved after Konstantin in Vladimir. Do not live under the walls of the citadel and in one of the large buildings of the Grand Palace. It is easy to guess that this building housed the notorious harem, only the number of concubines in it comparison with growth increased at the time of death of the Grand Duke they were not less than sixty. Radislav, the unhappy wife of Constantine, went to the monastery.

Svyatoslav arrived in Vladimir and said big brother that feels the force alone to build any temple. Because funds for the production of white stone in impoverished after the civil strife of the Vladimir Grand Principality was not Constantine offered to build a temple of time. So in the last year of life Constantine – if I'm not mistaken, it was the seven hundred and twenty-sixth (1218 – approx. transl.) – in Vladimir was built a small Church of the exaltation of the Bargain. And Svyatoslav sent your drawing to Yaroslavl, and there in the same year built exactly the same Church, dedicated not only to the Elevation, and the Entrance The Lord in Jerusalem.

Yes, the twenty-sixth year was the last year of life of Konstantin Vsevolodovich. He had already during Lipetskoy the battle looked like a living skeleton – apparently turned out to be weak for the ongoing harem of pleasures. And when he fell still a huge number of princely duties, he could not resist. Transient consumption and the grave. He was only thirty-two years old.

And shortly before Matilda convinced the terminally ill Konstantin translate younger brother George close to Vladimir – Suzdal. It seems like in order to strengthen unity state: say, worthless second on the ladder Prince to rule somewhere in the distance, better to have the honorary and was eyes. Constantine agreed. Then the German was immediately outfitted me in a way: I had to sit in wagon, rush to the Gorodets and George to bring the good news sooner than that make Grand messenger. In Gorodets I was taken cold, but kindly, even to feast together with George.

Soon Constantine died, George from Suzdal moved to Vladimir in the city again the pandemonium, which is inevitable in the transition of power, and we with her dismissed Konstantinov harem and went to Georgiev-Opole to Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich.

Can't say that Grand Duke Georgy Vsevolodovich we went wrong relationship. I guess I must say otherwise: the relationship with him did not go well for anybody. It was worthless and softie, but he was confident that he was sent by the God for the salvation of Russia and must fulfill his princely duty. So he tried to solve it himself, and those close that would be cool im like Matilda deceased Constantine, he was not. But hard to impose his will he could not get anyone. Lacked character. Even the execution of robberscould tell: he was sentenced to death and then pardoned.

In fairness I should note that depravity to him in any way was not peculiar, he was an example of an exemplary family man and loved his wife Agafia, daughter of Chernigov Prince Vsevolod chermnyy. Yes, the same, after whose death I could get Chernigov, if my life turned out differently.

But the question now is not about me and Georgy Vsevolodovich. I want to tell you of this Prince and what happened with him in Russia, as I consider it, along with Mathilde, the main the cause of the misfortunes that befell me in my old age. Yes, I understand that the judge it is a sin, but still can't resist. Similarly, I believe my uncle Igor Svyatoslavich the main culprit for the misfortunes that befell me in my youth. Pray you, father Nicephorus, cleanse me of the sin of lack of Christian forgiveness. I sincerely try not to judge anybody, but not always.

Lipitskaya battle blew in Georgia faith in his military talent, and he is trying to avoid wars. He fought only weak opponents – for example, with the Volga Bulgaria. No, father Nicephorus, I'm not talking about the Bulgaria, where was born John Of Ryl'sk. (Latin Bulgaria and Bulgaria have the same name, and in the difference in one letter is for clarification, what country question – approx. transl.). Once in the steppes North-East of the Russian the sea there lived a nomadic tribe of the Bulgars, and then it was divided: one part went to the West, the Balkans, the other settled in the middle reaches of the Volga. In the same century, when Rus was baptized into Orthodox Christianity, Bulgaria accepted Islam. City in Bulgaria is small, although, they say, even with stone buildings. The capital is called Bulgar. Strong government Bulgaria never was, and all the time of its existence, the Bulgars were only worried about their raids the outskirts of Suzdal.

Georgy Vsevolodovich even won from the Bulgars advantageous location at the confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers. Although, perhaps, "won" – too loudly. In fact it was never part of Bulgaria, which is located far downstream of the Volga. It always been undeveloped, inhabited by wild tribes Mordovian "draw land" between Russia and Bulgaria, and after one of the wars, it was ceded to Russia.

But anyway, year in the twenty-ninth – thirtieth (1221-1222 – approx. transl.)George founded on the arrow at the confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers, the city and named it Nizhny Novgorod. Here, perhaps, the most glorious of the truly tragic events of his reign.

As usually happens when weak-willed and incompetent ruler, at the court flourished debauchery, drunkenness, bribery, embezzlement, bureaucratic arbitrariness, and even idolatry. People only lived for today and not thinking about the future. Many of the nobles and the rich merchants following the example of Constantine and Svyatoslav even got himself a harem. In short, the glorious city of Vladimir became Babylon. The one that the prophet Isaiah: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and abominations of the earth". Oh, it's in revelation St. John? You see, I forgot. And Isaiah is talking about Jerusalem? Yes, I remember:"As has become a harlot, the faithful city, full of justice! Really lived it, but now murderers. The thy silver is become dross, thy wine is spoiled by water, thy princes are criminals, and companions of thieves: they all love gifts and chasing for bribes, do not defend the orphan, and the cause of the widow come before them".

Ancient Roman Empire era of decline? Yes, father Nicephorus, you can say so. Rome next came vandals, the Rus – the Mongols, and that makes all the difference.

How many people like warehouse, George did not trust anyone. Including Matilda, especially knowing about her role in the defeat of his troops in the battle Lipetskoy. But, on the other hand, he was her I appreciate the help, when Constantine brought him back to Suzdal. So he did against us with German had never tried either to destroy us or to take away Constantine granted the possession, and even then, when there was again mining white stone, Grand contracts for the carriage was still ours. A decent man was Georgy Vsevolodovich, not take away.

So all anything, Matilda is such a great Prince, perhaps, would suit, we could easily to stay and live in one of Vladimir's house under the walls of the citadel. But near weak-willed George began to intensify Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. Unlike the two older brothers, he went to his father and grandfather.

He kept your destiny – Pereslavl-Zalessky – and under Constantine, and Georgia. Last offered him a more prestigious fiefdoms – Rostov, Suzdal, but Jaroslav refused: he was more important to feel safe in the city, where his loved and were ready to follow him into battle. Despite the terrible sacrifices, incurred by the citizens in the ill-fated Lipetskoy battle.

When shortly before Constantine's death, I went to see George in Gorodets, Matilda told me on the way back stop in Pereyaslavl-Zalessky. I had to warn Yaroslav, that Constantine was bad, and to say that if pereyaslavs'kyi Prince want to take some action to consolidate his position, it's time to do it, but my niece Maria Feodorovna always we're ready to help.

But the cunning the idea of the Germans went to pieces. Yaroslav took the boyar Vladimir Thalaleas quite kindly, apparently not immediately remembered who I was. But as soon as he heard the name Maria Feodorovna and realized that it was the one that supposedly of Tmutarakan, came to wild rage, grabbed me by the collar and descended the stairs with the words: "again see you in Pereyaslavl, fat Latin gelding, they'll hang you!".

Rally flight of stairs it was sad and painful at my age and with my physique, I thought: why fat – explains why the gelding is also clear why Latin? But when I returned to Vladimir, Matilda explained to me that Jaroslav – an implacable enemy of the Latin faith, and long ago suspicious of her that she working for the Templars. I asked why then it was all sending me off to such a person, she smiled and said that I had to check it out. "Check on my hump", – mentally I said, but aloud to say no dare.

And Matilda decided that need to move to Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich in Georgiev-opolskie to be next to the Prince, which under any circumstances will not give Yaroslav to deal with us, even if George anything happens. With Svyatoslav fact, her attitude was great from the time Rostov "small harem". In favor of moving in Georgiev said and known to Julia Of Caesar, that it is better to be the first in the province than second in Rome.

And we German settled in Georgieva-Opole. As in Vladimir, when Constantine, one of the buildings of the Prince's Palace. And you probably already guessed that this the structure was located and the harem: Svyatoslav did not change his adulterous habits. His wife Eudoxia, the daughter of Prince David of Murom G. and Princess Fevronia was put up with this for a long time, but in the end, all went to Murom to his parents and became a nun. Son Of Svyatoslav, Dmitry, also grew up in Murom. So Svyatoslav his penchant for debauchery destroyed the family, and this, it turns out, is my fault. I confess.

But depravity is depravity, and thing – thing. More than women, Svyatoslav loved only one thing: architecture. And year to the thirtieth (1222 – approx. transl.) he finally convinced older brother George to start a white stone building. Yes, from the same, crazy expensive, but prestigious, "Imperial" white stone. Moscow again earned quarries, chief of which was re-designated for the elderly Ananias Simunovic, there were master-masons who built the temples of Vsevolod the The big Nest, we Mathilde received the contract for carriage, and it went.

Svyatoslav immediately decided to take up a very large building – Suzdal Cathedral Bogoroditsy (Nativity of the virgin approx. transl.), he started to build on the site of the dilapidated temple, built by Vladimir Monomakh. George Prince scored his harem and was gone for months at a construction site, even "happy" with him did not take: he was not up to carnal pleasures.

Of course, stealing is wrong, how to steal during the late Bartholomew, we with her could not: honest in business, not in need of money and who were well versed in everything it was white stone, Prince Svyatoslav quickly lead us to clean water. But in a row for the transportation of stone brought good money without stealing, so can repent if not the sin of theft, the sin of avarice. Having also income from the content of the princely harem and granted by Constantine land possessions, Falaley Karpovich and his niece, Maria Fyodorovna became one of thethe richest boyars in Russia. Richer was only the princes, but I already told you that their common property, the property of the family of Rurik, were all Russia. It it is quite another thing.

However, why "them the property"? Our ancestral property, I, too, Rurik! Just then, in Georgieva-Opole, I almost did not remember that I actually name is not a Thalaleas Karpovich, Svyatoslav Olgovich. So, ran sometimes before the eyes of some paintings of childhood and adolescence, and all. The Sultan's harem, where I was Battal-Agoy, and then remembered more.

In the thirty-first year (1223 – approx. transl.) in southern Russia was attacked by Mongols. We in Suzdal is almost did not notice, and if fourteen years later, it became clear that it was only the vanguard of a powerful army, and the year I would not remember. Then, in the thirty-first, we thought that some of the next nomads robbed of the village, defeated the combined regiments of the southern Russian princes on the river Kalka and went home in their steppe. You never know who smashed the nomads, though Igor Svyatoslavich to remember. For me it was mainly that involved in the the battle of my sons Oleg and Mstislav remained unhurt.

To Georgy Vsevolodovich came messengers from the South of Russia, asked for help, but he hadn't given consent so as against Eastern peoples, Vladimir and Kiev was a clear assignment duties from the time of Vsevolod the Big Nest and Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich Kiev: Vladimir at war with the Bulgars, Kiev – Polovtsy. The fact that the Mongols – not sheep, not seem to understand even the princes, the vanquished after Kalka. However, with several taken prisoner by the princes, the Mongols did not not the Polovtsian, that is did not demand a ransom or sell into slavery, andpainfully and humiliating executed: tied, put them on boards and on top sat to lunch. And crushed. But we are not alarmed: you never know how to behave nomads.

And retinue, which, after long delays Georgy Vsevolodovich still sent to the South, did not have time to fight the Mongols: those immediately after Kalki went home.

Still probably could be alerted that the defeated on the Kalka princes was Mstislav Udatny, but again, you never know what the lesions may be even the best of generals. Have we say in such cases: everyone Hannibal can happen their own the battle of Zama.

Don't know, did George V. before his death, at least mentally repent for your mistakes and then their ideas about the Mongols. Just in case Christian repent not only for ourselves but for him. Only I will say in justification and the Grand Duke, and all the other princes, she then also not pay no attention to the arrival of the vanguard of the Mongols.

So life in Suzdal went on as usual. Year in the thirty-third (1225 – approx. transl.) completed construction of the Suzdal Cathedral of the virgin. Huge with six internal pillars and three heads, richly decorated with white stone thread. The consecration was attended by princes, nobles and clergy from around the of the Grand Duchy. Svyatoslav triumphed.

In the same year he began the construction of the city cathedrals in Rostov and Nizhny Novgorod. Too white stone, is also richly decorated. In Rostov the Cathedral was large, Svyatoslav didn't want to appear memorable architect Frederick Barbarossa in The bottom smaller.

Georgy Vsevolodovich regularly allocated funds for the construction: was a peaceful time, and money the Grand Ducal Treasury was. Yes, and he himself could not like it the land is decorated with such beautiful buildings. I guess he was pleased with the fact, what the younger brother did not debauchery in Georgieva-Opole, and is located at a great and good work.

In the thirty-fifth (1227 – approx. transl.) I turned sixty. As we say in Russia, old age – no joy. No, some do and in this age of well-behaved feel, and the Prince George Dolgoruky, for example, about sixty born the son of Vsevolod – the future Grand Duke. But I was old and fat eunuch. The Affairs of the harem already are doing, however, and Svyatoslav almost abandoned. Transportation of stone I never directly supervised: on this we had control. Matilda somehow watched all of our chores, and it is fine.

And I looked at the window and blankly looked outside, as if in a sort of stupor. In summer, we went in a large wagon to one of his estates and was sitting by the window there. Even in the Church only went on most major holidays. In a word, feeble the old man. You could say, fell into the sin of despondency.

And I remember from last decades of life in Georgieva-Opole is very small. We as-that with Sultan physician Jamal al-Galilei talked about the main harem eunuch the Abdelkarim, which in those days was a little less than me now, Jamal told me that the elders usually well kept in the memory of what was in their youth, remember the most recent events, and in the middle of them though failure. Jamal was right. The East is famous for its healers, and this, no doubt was of the best.

That is important for my confession, remember that Yaroslav Vsevolodovich shortly before my sixtieth birthday became Prince of Novgorod, leaving behind a and Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, and led the Novgorod army against Lithuania, somewhere on North to Riga. However, the campaign Yaroslav Riga (1228 – approx. transl.) upset residents of Pskov, who refused to fight with the order of the sword. Pskov – a small town of the Novgorod land you about it probably heard of. It's not so far from Riga.

Remember what about the same time Matilda happily told me that the Pope wrote the message of the Russian princes, promising them peace and prosperity in the bosom of the Latin Church and wanting to see their ambassadors in Rome. Even the words of this message remembered German often repeated: "Your mistakes in the faith of the Lord and annoying are the cause of all evils in Russia. Forget even the worst of evils, if not refer to the true faith. Awesoem and pray that you're writing expressed in the goodwill through reliable messengers, and meanwhile lived peacefully with Riga Christians." Something like that.

Remember the story of Matilda that Georgy Vsevolodovich, having received this message, gathered brothers on the Board. Svyatoslav believed that right up to take Latin faith, of course, not necessary, but to send to Rome an Embassy is necessary. And even suggested that this Embassy went to Maria Fyodorovna from Tmutarakani: all knew how well my German was able to reconcile the order of the sword with Mstislav Udachnym. I think George Prince himself decided to give it to him advised Matilda.

Jaroslav V. on hearing the name of Maria Feodorovna, was again furious. He could not Svyatoslav down the stairs, as once it did with me, but said everything your suspicion that this woman works for the Templars, and its aim is the complete subordination of Russia to the Latin Church. Of course, he was against the dispatch of ambassadors to Rome, moreover, demanded that the younger brother to the gave him "the old witch" Mary for the burning at the stake.

Svyatoslav screamed that Byzantium quarter of a century ago fell, the Latins took Constantinople – then the Lord favors them, and only the most stupid and short-sighted people to ignore the message of the head of the Latin Church. And that Mary's brother Yaroslav receive only over his dead body.

George called on the brothers to stop a fight, said Boyarynya Maria Feodorovna – not Homer's Helen of Troy to conceive due to her strife, and that the question Embassy in Rome – are too complex and need to carefully consider.

And he pondered for several years. I've heard of any other letters, whether to George from the Pope, whether from George to the Pope. Matilda hurried Svyatoslav, Svyatoslav hurry George, but nothing shifted. The reasons for this was either the apathy and indecision of the Grand Duke, or his fear of Yaroslav, your unwillingness to accept the Latin faith, whether it all together. Gradually it became clear that the Suzdal Embassy to the Pope will not go.

I remember Matilda all the time something really bothered is when she realized that there is no Embassy in Rome is not. Sometimes I heard she mumbles under nose: "Well, when, when? We have to hurry!". Some letters were often written and Regensburg, member of the General Chapter of the order of Christ and of the temple of Solomon Joachim von der Hirsch, and in Riga, the Grand master of the order of the sword Folcwine background The vintershtayn. The letters were sealed, but once one of them was lying on the table in the common room and was waiting, print it away, and I noticed itthe phrase from the gospel: "That thou doest, do quickly."

God, I don't had guessed what was going on and what she has in mind. Yes, if I guessed that could change to save their country? Nothing. All inexorably rolled in the abyss.

Remember that Yaroslav the time still convinced of the Pskov people to start a war with the order of the sword, won knights in battle on the river Omovzha (1234 year; other variants of the name of this river – An EMP Assault. Approx. transl.) and was attached to the Pskov part of the lands of the order. And then, two years ago, he with the help of Novgorod, became Grand Prince of Kiev. Real power is the possession of blighted Kiev, he added, but the title, he was equal to his elder brother George.

Matilda could breathe calm: while Yaroslav was engaged in Novgorod and Kiev, he could not to be a hindrance in the Affairs of Suzdal.

Remember that Svyatoslav Gromov, graduating from cathedrals in Rostov and Nizhny Novgorod, finally began the construction of a new temple and his inheritance. (We are talking about St. George's Cathedral in Yuriev-Polsky, 1230-1234 years. Regarding this temple, the chronicler says, that Svyatoslav "be master of himself", which indirectly confirms the story Svyatoslav Thalaleas that Yur Prince was the architect and other temples this time – approx. transl.). The Cathedral turned out so, what in Russia have not happened: a tall, slender, decorated with solid white-stone carving. Just a miracle, not a Cathedral. I hope to Svyatoslav for this godly gramodaya on God's judgment will be forgiven many of his adulteries. By the way, in the ornaments of the Cathedral there are many Oriental traits, down to the carved statues of elephants: not our if Mathilde harem was inspired by the Prince's architect?

Here, father Nikandr, it was until last winter. Yes, I called you in Fact. And how actually your name? Nicephorus? Sorry, sorry. Was forgotten. A bit to catch my breath. No thanks, they even do not want to drink.



Part VII,

recorded Stefan, a monk of the Abbey of St. John in Riga


My sorrowful confession comes to an end, and I have to tell you about what I unwittingly contributed to his grave and numerous sins. About the death of my country.

Stepped current, forty sixth year (1238, but according to the Byzantine chronology, the year begins on 1 Sep, so, here we are talking about the autumn of 1237 – a comment perev.). I had turned seventy, and every autumn I thought bitterly that he would not live to spring. But somehow he lived. For me was good care, to me was deputed the doctor, I can't complain.

Sitting by the window, I often imagine how I'm going to die in a nice bed of his St. George home and as they bury me in the place of honour in the cemetery of the new city Cathedral. But my life once again changed dramatically. As the life of all Russia.

Winter came, the invaders. And not from the West, where, as I understand now, waited and called Matilda, and East. Not the Latins, and the Mongols.

In that year the Lord truly turned from my country: the winter was snowy and cold, it would be warm and more snow – enemies got stuck.

On a frosty January day I, as usual, was sitting by the window and saw that Svyatoslav builds in the courtyard of his army, and Pesci, and equestrians. Asked Matilda if she knows, what's the matter. She said to the Prince rushed a messenger from George Vsevolodovich: Svyatoslav with their whole army needs to quickly go somewhere on the river Sit between Tver and Yaroslavl, had to fight with the nomads. More it nothing knew was just going to go to find out. Surprised that the nomads can to be between Tver and Yaroslavl: it seems it's not about the Bulgars, who were notnomads, a year ago someone had won, so they hardly would have gone on Russia has gone so far.

And she was gone. Back aged years, probably twenty. I even got up from his seat – so scared for her. She fell in a chair and could not say anything. I gave her water and was about to call the doctor to let her blood, but she gradually she came to herself in a weak voice, told what happened.

It turns out that in mid-December, Ryazan was besieged nomads. Not Cumans, and those fifteen years ago defeated at the Kalka river, Mstislav Udatnogo and other southern Russian princes, and a year ago, has won the Volga Bulgaria. They are called by the Mongols, chairs them Khan named Batu.

The Ryazan Prince George I. and his nephew Roman Ingvarevich sent messengers to George Vsevolodovich asking for help. Gave Vladimir the great Prince that it's a cavalry troop of nomads, ten thousand.

If Ryazan princes so I underestimated the power of the enemy on purpose, so George is not afraid to send help – damn them forevermore. I'm sorry, father Nikon, or Nikandr or how you name, forgot again. I know that in confession you should never curse, I 've said it before, but don't interrupt me now, or I won't have time to finish, I getting worse and worse.

Where was I? Yes, that Ryazan princes gave George that came ten thousand horse nomads. In fact, the strength of Batu was huge, at least fifty thousand, and it was not lightly armed nomads like the Polovtsy, and perfectly trained and battle-hardened warriors, among whom many had severe weapons. Were the Mongols and numerous siege machines.

However, why do I blame all Ryazan princes? The year before Batu defeated nearest neighbor Suzdal – Volga Bulgaria, and is the Grand Duke Vladimir, not knew what was going on in his Eastern borders? The Bulgars must have sent to him the Embassy with requests for assistance and informed on how strong the enemy is. Maybe George didn't believe them? Maybe he was hoping Batu crushed the Bulgars, then not go? Maybe the joy that dies Bulgaria, ancient enemies of Russia, overshadowed his mind? But even if we assume that the Bulgars did not send to him anyone Embassy, then surely George was not a whistleblower in a country with which Suzdal princes fought is not the first century?

I think if George Gromov knew that it is this army, as at Batu, he's nobody were sent to the rescue of Ryazan and gave her her fate, because of the special friendship Suzdal from Ryazan has never been quite the contrary. Would gather squads and militias from all your Grand Duchy – he was not less than a month until Batu dealt with Ryazan. All of the city of Suzdal could collectively put thousands thirty to forty well-trained and armed soldiers. And if George called and armed citizens and peasants,would turn even probably the same. And yet he had an Alliance with Novgorod and he could from there to get another ten thousand heavily armed Pesci, and even more.

Then even with the leadership ineptitude of George is not known who would take. Maybe Batu in General would not dare to attack such a large unified army.

But why say "if "? All happened as it happened. George, not bothering to learn how a mighty enemy to fight, sent to the aid of Ryazan Vladimir only the squad, seven thousand of horsemen, headed by his son Vsevolod G. and Governor Jeremiah Glebovich.

The Grand Duke Vladimir, as usual, how long did you think before posting help. Still, probably wondering what the land demand from Ryazantsev in the award for the help. In the end, the team came into the campaign, when the Ryazan already fallen. And I only got to Kolomna – a small town at the confluence of the Moscow river in the Oka river, on the border Suzdal and Ryazan principalities. Kolomna already besieging the main force of Batu.

To Vsevolod Georgievich joined the army of Prince Roman Igurevich, to break out of Ryazan and collected shelves of the survivors of the Ryazan towns, but these three or four thousand warriors anything could not change. In the battle of Kolomna, Russian was utterly broken – too great was the superiority of the forces of the Mongols. Escaped and rushed in Vladimir a few, including Vsevolod Georgievich.

Georgy Vsevolodovich, understand the cost of losing squads that the enemy in front of him, sent messengers to cities of Suzdal land, with the requirement to collect all the troops and go on the river Sit. Obeying the orders of the eldest brother, went there and Svyatoslav with his regiment.

Telling me all this, Matilda asked my opinion as a former warrior, why George gathering an army on the distant river city, not in Vladimir. I explained to her that plan Georgy Vsevolodovich reasonable: since his squad were killed at Kolomna, and the enemy now, we must gather the troops off in remote place. If Batu will go to the Grand Duke, from the rear to the Khan will hit the defenders cities. If the enemy engaged in the siege of the city, we hit the Grand army.

So I calmed Matilda as I could. But neither I nor George II did not take into account the fact that the Batu enough soldiers for a simultaneous attack on the town of Suzdal, and on shelf Grand Duke. In addition, Russian wood-earth fortifications as weak that not last long could.

But anyway, Svyatoslav went with the regiment from Georgieva-opolskie to North. If in its place was Constantine, then I'd take a harem. But Svyatoslav they never did even in the days of his youth, and when he was already over forty or even more.

In Georgieva left urban militia under the command of Lord Elisha Esipovich. Elisha fully prepared to defend the city. Shafts water poured below the frost was formed, and the enemy could not climb on them. Water poured and walls and roof closest to them houses below the ice was protected from fire arrows. On the walls, prepared wood and resin – boil and pouring on the heads of enemies. In white-the St. George Cathedral, which at the time of the siege served as a stronghold, all Windows, loopholes staged battle areas archery. Prepared food for several months. Distributedsections of the walls between citizens, capable of bearing arms. One was weapons distributed. Burned Posad, so that the enemy could not use the timber from his houses. In short, all as expected.

In early February Georgiev rode a messenger with the tidings that the besieged Vladimir. The week that the capital city has fallen, who led the defense Vsevolod Georgievich died.

In Georgieva this message made a great impression. But hope was not extinguished: hope for fortifications, and George and Svetoslav, who gathered troops to City, and for a miracle. However, Mathilde had no hoped: hunched as ancient woman, she walked around the room and muttered something under his breath. I once I heard: "did Not, I warned, and they did not, now all the end." Who and what did not – I did not realize then, and most were not up to

As we say on Russ, there is a silver lining: Matilda in stupor, but it left the I – like the old warhorse, which has already lead to the knacker's yard, but he raises his the head and hoof beats heard in the distance the sound of the trumpet. I even came to Elisha Esipovich and offered his services, but he asked me to leave, saying that I'm too old and feeble for battle. I said that can still fight, but he gave me look and offered himself to ascend to the combat area the wall. Can – it I take. I could not, and in grief went home.

And in mid-February the Mongols came to Georgiev. For the second time in my life, I was in a besieged city – I guess I spoke about their childhood experiences in Novgorod-Seversky, when it was besieged by the army of Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich Kiev. Yes, the ominous fires. Now they burned around Georgieva. And burned them not my great-uncle, and the unknown enemy who knew no mercy.

The Mongols offered to give up. Elisha Esipovich gathered a Council of eminent citizens, and we discussed to surrender or not. Decided not to give up, relying on the fortifications and winter, frost, all drenched with water, ramparts and walls of ice, will not fit, does not light. If the enemy will not take the city by storm, then begin the siege, but he's in the field, in the cold, and we are in the city, in the heat, and we have plenty of supplies. And there, God willing, will come George with Svyatoslav and help out. And the defenders of the city were many, five thousand gained: even many women went to the wall.

Flaming arrows our ice strengthening was not light, that's for sure. Even "Greek fire" is not if it was possible to ignite. But the Mongols were powerful catapults, and the first the attack was the latest. The enemies in several places swept from the shaft wall, put to the slopes of the shafts of the stairs and rushed into the breaches under the protection of their archers who shot much better than ours. After all, in Georgieva good archers almost gone, all gone with the army of Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich.

So Batu and took everything our cities. Perhaps it would be better to give up. But we didn't know that the Mongols so strong. Yes, and shame – where it go? I guess I have already given the words of my distant ancestor Svyatoslav Igorevich: "do Not disgrace the Russian land, but lie down bones, the dead are not ashamed". And none of our town did not surrender. Well, the only consolation is that my country died heroically.

Died heroically and Georgiev-Opole. Rushed the Mongols not only killed those who tried to resist, but to all who did not prostrate before them. Enough all more or less valuable. The city erupted, no one was extinguished. Elisha and Esipovich the remaining defenders took refuge in St. George's Cathedral and a few hours resisted, but the Mongols besieged the temple of brushwood, burned and strangled Russian smoke. Then he knocked the door with a battering RAM and finished off those who were still alive.

Around the princely Palace for fire protection there was a large vacant space was not present windy, and the fire, the Palace was spared. Spared him and the Mongols – imagine thanks to the Prince's harem and wit Matilda.

When the warriors of Batu broke into the Palace, the first thing they saw was trembling and ready all the Prince's Royal concubine. Old German, came to themselves in the face mortal danger, was shrewd enough to strip them naked and push forward.

Can you imagine what began in the Palace Orgy. But, to satisfy his wild lust, the Mongols forgot about the murder. Used to run all the new warriors, joined debauchery, and all went well, so to speak. In the end, and I, and Matilda, and all the concubines, and all his servants survived. Of course, we got robbed, but life left.

Yes, father Nikolai, you right, there were occasions when the Mongols, raped women, cut off their Breasts and stabbed. But, thank God, was rare. These cases could be caused by the resistance of the victims, their loved ones, cruelty of individual warriors. But for all their hatred of the Mongols have to say no special atrocities on their part, I did not see: that's about what happened when the city "took to the skies" and the crusaders, and the Sultan's troops, and, to be honest, our Orthodox during the princely strife. For example, when Rurik Rostislavich in the twelfth year(1204 – approx. transl.) captured Kiev soldiers were no better. Just you watch from Riga, and from a distance it's usually horror first attract attention.

Having been in Georgieva-Opole three days, the Mongols went as unexpectedly as it came. The city lay in ruins, survived barely a fifth of the buildings. Among the ashes rose blackened with soot, peeled gilding on the dome, but still beautiful and the majestic St. George's Cathedral. Only inside him did not go to service, and lay the corpses. Like everywhere on the streets. Fortunately, there were cold and dead bodies decomposed slowly and then more and Mor some in the city would begin.

Began to arrive the messengers from other cities. The news was sad. The Grand Duchy lay in the dust, and the ash was taken and looted, except for Vladimir and Georgieva, and even Suzdal Rostov, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, Moscow, Tver, Bogolyubov, Kideksha, many others city. And the worst was news of the death of troops Georgy Vsevolodovich. The death of stupid and ridiculous.

When Batu Khan laid siege to Vladimir, George and Svetoslav decided that all is well and they are on the river city can quietly to await the approach of all regiments and suddenly hit the enemy. But George vain hope that a ship will remain a mystery for the Mongols: the enemy at the beginning of March suddenly struck himself on the Russian.

I don't know exactly how it all occurred in the city, but I was told that the forces were equal: the princes were collected fifteen thousand soldiers, about the same number were in the squad Burundi, one of the Batu Governor. But the Mongols approached the camp and forest attacked from all sides. Sentinel raised the alarm, but it was too late. Started panic, and the Russians were utterly defeated and the few who survived. The Grand Duke beheaded, Svyatoslav fled to who knows where.

Batu went on, in the the direction of Novgorod, and took a New Bargain.

Here from Kiev arrived Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. When he managed to negotiate with blown – don't know even that he had, before the invasion, had with the Mongols any intercourse and even helped them in the device heavily armed cavalry. But you never know what he said then, went wildest rumors. Matilda even believed that it was Yaroslav suggested Burunday, where rallying the troops George. But the German was hated Yaroslav and could come up with anything.

Known for sure only that that George was waiting on the city of Yaroslav, and waited for Burundai. Jaroslav immediately after death of his older brother entered the captured by the Mongols, Vladimir and became Grand Prince. Of course, Yaroslav agreed with Khan: he could not without the consent of Batu even appear in the city, captured by the Mongols, not that varnagiris.

What I'm still sure – that Yaroslav convinced of Batu not to go to Novgorod, where reigned his son Alexander Yaroslavich (Nevsky future – approx. transl.). Because the Mongols in March after taking a New Bargain and turned South. Do you think that Khan could just to prevent the spring thaw? Unlikely. You'll see, the Batu will not go to Novgorod neither this summer nor next year. Then remember what you said late Prince Svyatoslav II of Kiev. (Svyatoslav was right, the Mongols to Novgorod and not went – approx. transl.).

No, to convince the Batu not to go to Kiev Yaroslav unlikely. When the Prince left the capital of South Russia, it was immediately seized Mikhail Vsevolodovich of Chernigov. I don't think Jaroslav will ask for alien and hostile to Kiev Mikhail, on the contrary – prefer hands of Batu to deal with a rival. (Indeed, in 1241 year Batu took Kiev in 1246 Mikhail of Chernigov was killed in the Khan's headquarters – approx. transl.). If Khan is so easy to defeated the strongest in Russia Suzdal, the disparate southern Russian principalities for him, certainly not will be a serious opponent.

Mind you, father Nikon, Batu trusts Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, even did not put in Vladimir and his Deputy. Installed with the new great Prince of the relationship, which the Latins called vassal, held the Ambassador-spy and left.

Matilda knew that under Yaroslav, she'll die as soon as he reach his hands up to Georgieva-opolskie then burn her at the stake as a witch. To protect her this time there was no one: Svyatoslav wasn't (he later came to Vladimir and received from Yaroslav the destiny of Suzdal – approx. transl.). And nothing has been the German to do in the devastated Georgieva. And she decided to leave Russia.

Got to give her credit, me she didn't, and was given a choice: go with her or to stay and die at home. I guess I like Russian Prince would to choose the latter. But I confess, I was afraid of starvation among the ashes and ruins. Some of my estate survived, but sooner or later they would have confiscated the great Prince Yaroslav. And how was I supposed to live without Matilda? Still, I very much attached to this cunning and devious, but an extraordinary woman for the forty-five years that we were together. Forty-five years! Few even married so many lives.

So I agreed to go with her, but only expressed a fear that will not survive a long journey in The Holy Roman Empire. But she said we can go to Livonia (now Latvia – approx. transl.) it's much closer. In Regensburg her uncle von der Hirsch went to the Lord, and in Riga it after the previous trip left a lot friends, and it is possible to settle down and calmly think what to do next. The money she invested in the Templars, the brotherhood of the order Of Christ and of the temple of Solomon of any Latin city, including Riga, so we provided a relaxed and comfortable old age.

On the road we have the money was: it took them some his stash. Horses in Georgieva after the Mongol destruction left, but we were not needed: the break-up already was over, and it was possible to sail boats. A boat with us were many: they preserved from transportation of white stone, and the Mongols have not touched them, their boat was to anything.

Matilda began to look for the surviving merchants wishing to leave Georgiev-Opole. There were a lot. Their goods were looted, but the money they had to hide. So they also paid us for the boat: the wily old German, and then managed to earn. Else joined us and some wealthy artisans, and even the nobles, – in short, all who were able to pay. Was with them women, and children. Former concubines and maids of princely harem we took free. Even many of the poor went: we, too, took them for free, because we needed rowers.

In early April, we sailed. Our caravan was huge: if I change the failing memory thirty-five large boats. Or thirty-four? It doesn't matter. We have strong protection: in Georgieva left many surviving soldiers, decided to try his luck in exile, and even to get any kind of cost. Led the protection of the Governor Mikita Negojevic that the capture of the city by the Mongols was wounded, but almost recovered.

The soldiers hung their shields on the sides, giving our modest cargo boats menacing look of warships, together with rowers sat on the oars, and away we went. First down the river Koloksha, and then up the Klyazma. Vladimir, where we could detain Yaroslav This new neighborhood is left of this path at the side.

We are with Matilda sailed on one of the boats in the middle of the caravan. I was reclining on the pillows and looked around forever saying goodbye to his home country. The farewell was really sad. In April, when the leaves on the trees have not yet appeared, and the snow just came down, leaving impassable mud, Suzdal always looks sad. And then there's on the banks of blackened ashes of sacked villages.

Lifting Klyazma, we few times saw on the Bank some armed groups – it was probably the robbers, which after the invasion of Batu was no one to fight, and they do insolent. But our caravan was so large and so well guarded that they are not dared to attack. We with her it seemed that we will sail to Riga without adventure. But it did not.

From Klyazma leads portage in Yauza. All the buildings on the wires was burnt: on the way from Ryazan to Vladimir Khan Batu passed right here.

Our long caravan already dragged through the dies, the rowers and the soldiers dragged the boat, all the others helped them as could. We even Matilda took hold of the edge of one of the boats, although the use of barely moving fat man and a skinny hunched old woman was not enough.

The woods around portage was summarized: this was done since the time of Vladimir the Baptist to protect against sudden the attacks of robbers. The nearest trees were a hundred yards (we don't know about which of the many ancient fathoms in question, we can assume that it is about200 meters – approx. transl.). And suddenly from behind the trees sounded powerful voice:

"Who goes there?"

Our Governor Mikita Negojevic said nothing, only commanded the soldiers to take up arms and be ready for battle. And then out of the woods from all sides flying arrows. Do not short – bows nomads and long – of those big bows that are usually armed with princely vigilantes. With a hundred fathoms, are the arrows shot by the skillful hands, hit exactly the target. Mikita and a few more soldiers fell dead.

I started to panic, people began to disperse, prostrate, beg for mercy. And then Matilda struggling yelled, pointing at me:

"That's Prince, listen it!"


"Command, Prince!"

So here I am again turned into a Prince in his old age, looted portage, among ashes, under fire from the robbers. I can say without exaggeration: it was the bright moment in my life. And now I am very glad that I managed to tell you to the moment when I cheered and became a different person. Even so it is possible to say he became a man.

Began to command. Voice I already was very weak, not to mention scorcesse and senile wishlist, but the warriors passed my team on.

I ordered everyone to hide in boats and prepare to repel the attack. All have done so. Arrows ceased to fly, and I already was expecting out of the woods now will run out by bandits. But instead he heard the same powerful voice:

"I hear there Prince?"

"Yes!" – I shouted.

"And who are you, Prince?"

"Sviatoslav II Of Kiev Rylsky".

"Here Gleb Ingvarevich Kolomna. Come on, brother, we will talk".

And what do you think, father Nikandr? It really was Hleb, quite a young man, younger Kolomna Prince. His older brother Roman was killed in battle near Kolomna.

We went to meet a friend other. The brothers hugged each other as we passed, Rurik. Rodney and I go way back: Gleb belonged to the family of the princes of Ryazan, our common ancestor was Svyatoslav, the son Yaroslav the Wise, only I was two generations older. Father Gleb, Igor Glebovich was the older brother of my wife Eudoxia.

I briefly told that the Prince of Rylsk, but then was captured by the Polovtsy, and after captivity by agreement with the late Igor Svyatoslavich gave way to the reign of the sons of Oleg Mstislav and lived in Suzdal under the name of the Lord Thalaleas Karpovich. I confess, I did leave out a lot in his story, but overall almost all it was true, and no doubt Hleb arose. Besides, he had seen my sons princely congresses Chernihiv land to which gravitated the earth Ryazan. Knowing that I captured during a hike, sung in perfectlyknown to him "the Word about Igor's regiment", he admired my heroism. I did not dissuade him.

About where it went Batu after the massacre of Ryazan and Vladimir principalities, and survived my native Seversk land, Gleb did not know: too little time has passed and there is still no one came and told.

Gleb Ingvarevich said because I'm his brother Rurik, you are free to go on with his caravan. He only asked me to collect from the boyars and merchants of donations for restoration Kolomna, he was robbed for portage in Suzdal in order to raise hometown out of the ruins. I asked him how much money to collect it called, it was not so much. Anyway, paid all.

From the forest came the soldiers Gleb mostly, it was a princely retainers, so they shot so accurately. Began to help drag our boat.

Gleb warned me on the way from Moscow to Tver there will be another dragged – out of the Moscow river in the river Sister, and there we meet another detachment under the command of Ryazan boyar Yarun. But since I have already paid the Prince Gleb, the Centar I to pay anything should not only answer the question "Who's there?" answer with, "evpatiy Kolovrat". I asked why so, and Kolomna Prince explained that the so-called brave nobleman from Ryazan, who, after the destruction of the city Batu gathered the surviving warriors, attacked the Khan from the rear, and inflicted significant damage and heroically was killed in battle.

More, as I explained Gleb, the major groups on the way there – I noticed that he avoids the word "predatory". And from small gangs we ourselves, if necessary, defend ourselves: he sees that we seem to have prepared well.

And we swam on – down on the Yauza. By the way, I was surrounded by respect, in the caravan looked at me like I was Savior, even Matilda had shown me such respect, I never from her not seen since the death of Salah ad-DIN.

However, I was this honor, when my Russia was in ruins, and I, natural Rurik, was forced to caravan, forever leaving the country and another Rurik – Prince of Kolomna – was forced to Rob on the road!

When we sailed Moscow from the pier we have no one called, not even had to show security letters, which Matilda had previously made on behalf of Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich and assured found in St. George's Palace the Prince's seal. High on a mountain when the confluence of the Yauza river in the Moscow river could be seen the ruins of the once thriving town. Around the quarry, too, was deserted. Went Batu Khan.

I confess that I could not to keep stingy, senile tears. Even German, as I thought, I was deeply moved and wiped away a tear with sunken, wrinkled cheeks. However, I immediately realized that was wrong: she's just got eyes watered from the sudden gust of cold the spring wind.

Our way was up The Moscow river, then across the portage we went to the river Sister. On the wires, I called Ryazan boyar Yarun name evpatii Kolovrat and have been safely skipped. Went to Dubna, and later in the Volga, passed another ashes – Tver. However, there already knocked axes, survivors have begun to rebuild their homes. Next – the river Vazuza, and Osuga, another dies in some of the tributaries of the Western Dvina – I think the Mezha. Went along the Dvina were Vitebsk and Polotsk: escaped the invasion of Batu Russian Principality already have security credentialsprint Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich. By the way, many of our caravan no further went and stayed in Polotsk cities. If I had my way, I, too, would prefer Orthodox Polotsk Latin Riga. But to go from Matilda I was nowhere.

Then began the possession of the bishops of Riga and one of the corners of the Dvina stood the military post unknown to me the knights – as I later told my German, it was new, recently created the Livonian order. We called, told approaching. Matilda said something to the Latins in German, revealed his amulet and showed the seal of the order of the Temple. Those bowed and missed our caravan.

"O Russian land, you're over the hill" – I remembered the words from the distant past.

In Riga we arrived in the evening. I thought Matilda just go about their business, but she said she it's late and we must sleep at the Inn, to write something, relax and to freshen up: she is already twenty years old, and nearly half a century. I am well knew about her habit to downplay your age, but still smiled to himself: in fact, she was over sixty.

At the Inn she asked the owner of the parchment, and we went to our room – of course, the best of those that were there. The money we have enough.

Despite the fact that I was tired from the road, fell asleep at once: suffered senile and skupchenko insomnia. Only in the morning fell asleep and slept until noon if not longer. Woke up got dressed, had Breakfast and decided to go to Mathilde, the benefit of her chambers were located next to mine, and there it was possible to go directly, bypassing the common room.

Knocked, nobody answered. The door between our chambers were unlocked and I looked inside. The Germans were not. Across the room was scattered with her clothes: probably, chose, what to wear. The table was littered with scribbled pieces of parchment. Apparently, she all night writing, then, not slept, gone on business and forgot to remove drafts and check whether all doors are locked.

I confess, I could not resist and decided to inquire what she wrote. It was drafts of letters addressed to the commander the Riga brotherhood of the knights Templar. Read with difficulty, as it was written in Latin, sloppy handwriting, with many deletions and duplicate records. But most importantly, I think, got it right.

And here's what I learned. Listen, Nikolai, and how vile crimes against my country, I the unwitting accomplice.

Matilda was listed their actions from the time of the reign of Vsevolod the Big Nest, when the order was clear, voluntarily to draw Russia into the Latin faith will fail and need to do the full weakening of this country, in order to then subordinate it to fire and sword. And insidious German has done much to weaken Suzdal the ground.

First it corrupted heir of the Vladimir Grand-Ducal table of Konstantin Vsevolodovich.

Then he made a denunciation Vsevolod Georgievich on Constantine, which led to the fact that the Grand Duke from grief was sick, and then another, and bequeathed to Vladimir table not the eldest son, and the following is George. After that the Suzdal land was just doomed to bloody feud.

Then promoted win Konstantin lipetskoy the battle and the extermination of many thousands of the best warriors Principality.

Then, realizing that Constantine is terminally ill, has strengthened the weak and weak-willed George.

Then, seeing what's next with George, everything more and more power becomes a sworn enemy of the Latins Jaroslav, was in opposition to it to strengthen Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich.

Then she allegedly Sviatoslav was prepared to in case of an attack on Russia the Imperial order's troops and became Grand Duke, and agreed to pay the country to the Latin.

Then she complained that all her efforts went out the window. Neither the Templars, nor the knights of the sword did not heed her numerous requests to send to Russia secret assassins to eliminate the Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich: apparently not seen the need as all still preparing an invasion. But with this invasion for so long that I did not have time Suzdal, weakened by the efforts of Matilda, easily captured by the Mongols.

Even German was justified: she did not succeed to eliminate most of Yaroslav, age is not the same, the forces are not those. And that Batu Khan came to Russia, unexpectedly for her, she did not consider guilty: she was not his people nor the state of the Mongols, no Bulgaria, or even in southern Russia, where fifteen years ago there was a battle of Kalka! The knights Templar had instructed her to deal only with Suzdal land.

Finally, Matilda warned the Latins from the attack on Russia after they came the Mongols. Yaroslav Vsevolodovich is unlikely to be able to have a serious resistance, but it stands for Batu Khan. And to fight with the Khan not fragmented Russia. Better to think about defense, because, in its view, the godless pagan Mongols will not stop and will go further.

On one of the sheets parchment I found her signature: the noble lady Matilda von Immendorf, By the grace of God sister of the order of poor knights of Christ and of the temple of Solomon.

Long I sat at the table in the room the Germans, Recalling her words and deeds in the years that were together with her. I had the new terrible truth. It Turns Out, Jaroslav Gromov was right that she was working for the Templars, and its aim was the weakening of Russia and the subordination of the Latin Church. And I told her all this, it turns out, helped! Of course, the Lord is our judge, but I think that before the weight of my sin, even if involuntary, pales all others, even the sin of apostasy in Zonguldak!

And then came the Matilda. In his best clothes: must have been the commander of the Riga brotherhood of the knights Templar or in any other order of the chief. Was nervous to such an extent that my hands were shaking and lips, looks like she just had a very unpleasant conversation. And then there's saw that I read her drafts.

I didn't try to hurt her or ruffle. Just got up and asked:

"How could you do that my country where nobody's done anything evil? I can understand why are you avenged Salah al-DIN: his fault your parents were killed and you got in a harem. But Russia something wrong to you, for what you destroyed? You a lady of noble birth, aren't you ashamed?".

It is the first time in all the years I knew her, broke into hysterical cry:

"Yes, what do I have noble origin! I – unknown orphan, thrown the baby into the house orphans of the order of the Temple in Jerusalem! I was raised in the order's school secret Affairs, taught all the necessary skills and at sixteen was sent a concubine in the Sultan's harem, so I removed the Salah ad-DIN! My business to harm the enemies of the true Catholic faith! For this I received high titles noble ladies and sisters of the order of Christ and of the temple of Solomon!"

"But you then took Orthodoxy," I stammered.

"Falsely – as well as in Damascus accepted Islam!"

"But I'm Orthodox, and you were my friend..."

"Yes, what you tell me friend! I'd have relations with any chief the harem guard to help I run after the elimination of the infidel Sultan!"

"But you went with me Rus..."

"Got a new job, therefore I went, and I needed you to settle in Russia!"

"And if you more I got the job – for example, somewhere in Persia?"

"'d kill you Dash my servant the order of the head of the von der Hirsch, and that's all!"

"What a disgrace..."

"You look at yourself! I a good Catholic and all his life honestly served his true faith, fought with her enemies! And you? Helped me to harm their co-religionists! Rurik called! You, along with the shameful parts of princely honor cut that

"Damn you!"

"How dare you say me curse the wretch!" – she cried, came up to me and slapped.

This is her undoing: she forgot I was after the incident at portage from the Klyazma river in the Yauza ceased to be The Thalaleas By Karpovich. A Russian Prince Svyatoslav II of Kiev could not afford to he was mocked by some German.

And I hit her in the face. God knows, I didn't mean to kill her, but I confess, struck hard. It is so not expect me of this shot that didn't have time to get away or defend themselves. I a feeble old man but still a former soldier, and besides, I have a lot of weight. So the blow was hard, even though I was not hit with a fist and an open hand.

She fell. I'm not rushed to raise it: he was too pissed off. A long time paced the room to recover. When I looked at the German woman, she still lay motionless, only his ears flowed a trickle of blood: it turns out she fell backwards and hit his head on the acute angle of the table.

I bent over her, he put his ear to her chest. She was not breathing. Closed her eyes, whispered that could remember of the prayers for the dead.

Could not stand, then still failed. Out on the street. Until late in the evening wandered through Riga. Bumping into passers-by, fell down, rose, went further. When passed by this Abbey, decided to sit on the steps and relax. Fell into serious oblivion and I woke up at dawn. Tried to rise, but could not. Soon came the doorman asked who I was, and invited his Abbot. I brought this cell and given the opportunity to confess to an Orthodox priest. I grateful to them. Good people, though the Latins.

The body of Matilda probably already found, and looking for the killer. Or maybe not looking for: would have thought that the old lady just became ill, and she fell and hit her head.

I don't care. Once Jamal al-Galil, the physician of the Sultan's harem, told me that when a man dies, he first goes the eyesight, then hearing and then consciousness. I already do not see, father Nicephorus, and I hear worse and worse. Therefore, even not ask you a question, whether venial sin of murder insidious of luminance Matilda von Immendorf: unlikely to read your response.

So I finish my confession. My country, my Russia died, and this is my fault. But still I beg you to release my grave and numerous sins and to bury the deceased the servant of God Sviatoslav, the baptism of Boris, in the consecrated ground of the Orthodox temple.

Lord, take my soul.




A list of historical figures mentioned in the book


Agafea Rostislavna – daughter of Rostislav Mstislavich of Smolensk. Wife Of Oleg Svyatoslavich Novgorod-Seversky, the stepmother of Svyatoslav Olgovich of Rylsk.

Agafea vsevolodivna (CA. 1195–1238) – daughter of Vsevolod Svyatoslavich chermnyy. Wife Of George Vsevolodovich.

Agatha– the monastic name of the wife of Konstantin Vsevolodovich, daughter of Smolensk Prince Mstislav Romanovich.

Alexander Yaroslavich, called Nevsky (1221-1263) – son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich. Prince Novgorod (1236-1240, 1241-1252 and 1257-1259), Grand Prince of Kiev (1249-1263), Grand Prince of Vladimir (1252-1263).

Al-Aziz– the son of Salah ad-DIN.

Andrey (Yuryevich), nicknamed Bogolyubsky (C. 1111-1174), the son of Yuri Dolgoruky. Prince of Vyshgorod (1149 and 1155), Prince of Dorogobuzh (1150-1151), Prince of Ryazan (1153), from 1155 to the end of life – the Grand Duke Vladimir. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized.

Baldwin IV, nicknamed the Leper (1161-1185) – king of Jerusalem from 1174.

Baldwin V de Of Montferrat (1178-1186) – king of Jerusalem from 1185.

Batu,in the Russian tradition Batu (C. 1209-1255/1256) – Mongol military leader and statesman.

Burunday– the Mongol warlord.

Vladimir II Monomakh (1053-1125), in baptism Basil, the great Prince Kiev (1113-1125). The son of Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich, the grandson of Yaroslav the Wise. Nicknamed the Monomah on the generic name of the family of his mother, who was allegedly the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomakh.

Vladimir Vsevolodovich (1192-1227), the baptism of Dmitry, the son of Vsevolod The Big Nest. Prince Of Moscow (1212-1213), Pereyaslavl (1213-1215), Starodub (1217-1227).

Vladimir Glebovich (1157-1187) – the grandson of George Dolgorukiy, Prince of Pereyaslavl (1169-1187).

Vladimir Igorevich (C. 1170–?) the son of Igor Svyatoslavich. Prince of Putivl (up to 1185-1198), Novgorod-Seversky (1198-1206), Galician (1206-1208, The 1210-1211).

Vladimir Sviatoslavich, also St. Vladimir, Vladimir the Great, Vladimir the Baptist, Vladimir the Red Sun (approx. 960-1015), in baptism Basil, the son Svyatoslav Igorevich. Prince of Novgorod in 970-988 years, the Grand Duke Kiev with 978. When it was the baptism of Rus. The Russian Orthodox the Church canonized.

Vsevolod Georgievich (Yu), nicknamed the Big Nest (1154–1212), the baptism of Dmitry, the son of Yuri Dolgoruky, the younger brother of Andrew Bogolyubsky. The Grand Duke Vladimir to 1176.

Vsevolod Yurievich (1212 or 1213-1238), the baptism of Dmitry, the son of George (Yuri) Vsevolodovich. Prince Of Novgorod (1221-1222, 1223-1224),.

Vsevolod II of Kiev (CA. 1084-1146) is the son of Oleg Svyatoslavich ("Gorislavich"). Prince Novgorod-Seversky (1115-1127), Chernigov (1127-1139) and Grand Prince of Kiev (1139-1146).

Vsevolod Svyatoslavich (?-1196) – the son of Svyatoslav Olgovich of Chernigov, younger brother Oleg and Igor Svyatoslavovitch. Prince Trencevski (1164-1196), Kursk (1180-1196).

Vsevolod Svyatoslavich, surnamed the red, i.e. Red (mind. 1212), baptized Daniel, the son Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich Of Kiev. Prince Of Starodub (1198-1202), Chernihiv (1202-1210), Grand Prince of Kiev.

Hannibal Barca (247-183 BC) – Carthaginian General.

George (Iurii) Vladimirovich, nicknamed Dolgoruky (1090-e – 1157) – the son Vladimir Monomakh. With 1113 years (according to another version, year 1096) the rest of your life rules Suzdal Principality. In 1149-1151 years and 1155 the rest of your life – the great Prince of Kiev.

George (Yuri) Vsevolodovich (1188-1238) – the son of Vsevolod the Big Nest. Grand Prince of Vladimir (1212-1216, 1218-1238). The Russian Orthodox the Church canonized.

George (Yuri) I. (d. 1237) was the Grand Prince of Ryazan in 1235-1237

GSACalso , GSA, Xak – the Polovtsian Khan.

Guy (Guido) de Lusignan (d. 1194), king of Jerusalem, ruler The Cypriot kingdoms.

Gleb Ingvarevich – Prince of Kolomna. Probably the younger brother of the Roman Igurevich. Mentioned in "The story of the destruction of Ryazan Batu".

Gleb Rostislavich (d. 1178) – Prince of Ryazan, the founder of the Ryazan branch Rurik.

Davyd Rostislavich (1140-1197) – Prince of Smolensk, son of Rostislav mstislavovitch.

Dmitry– the son of Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich of Vladimir.

Eudoxia G. was a daughter of Gleb Rostislavich of Ryazan, the wife of Svyatoslav Olgovich Rila.

Evdokia Davydovna – the daughter of Prince David Yuryevich of Murom and Princess Febronia (which are revered by the Russian Orthodox Church saints Peter and Fevronia). Spouse Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich Of Vladimir. In 1228 became Murom Borisoglebsk monastery.

Yevpaty Kolovrat (approx. 1200-1238) – Ryazan boyar and Voivod.

Eldeco– the Polovtsian Khan.

Jeremiah (Jeremiah) Glebovich (mind. 1238) – Vladimirsky Voevoda.

Atopic– the Polovtsian Khan.

Euphrosyne Yaroslavna – the daughter of the Galician Prince Yaroslav Osmomysl. Husband Igor Svyatoslavich.

Gerard de Ridefor (approx. 1141-1189) – Grand master of the order of the Temple, with 1184 at 1189.

Igor Glebovich (mind. 1195) – Prince of Ryazan. The grandfather of Roman and Gleb Igurevich, brother Eudoxia Of Glebovna.

Igor Svyatoslavich (1151-1202) – the son of Svyatoslav Olgovich of Chernigov. Prince Novgorod-Seversk (1180-1198), And Of Chernigov (1198-1202).

Isabella I of Anjou, or Comnenus (1172-1205) – Queen of Jerusalem (1192-1205) and Cyprus (1198-1205). Spouse, Onfroy IV de Toron.

Izyaslav Vladimirovich (d. 1096 ad) – son of Vladimir Monomakh. Prince of Kursk (up to 1095), Murom (1095-1096).

Izyaslav Davidovich (mind. 1161) – Prince of Chernigov, Grand Prince of Kiev (1155, 1157 to 1158, 1161).

Izyaslav Mstislavich (C. 1097-1154), in baptism Panteleimon, the eldest of the grandsons of Vladimir Monomakh, Grand Prince of Kiev (1146-1149, 1151-1154). Nephew Of Yuri Dolgoruky, his main rival in the fight for Kiev.

John Of Ryl'sk, also Rila (C. 876-946) – the founder of the Rila monastery in Bulgaria. The Holy Bulgarian Church.

John(d. 1213) – Bishop of Rostov, Suzdal and Vladimir with 1190. Canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Jehoram is the king The Kingdom of Judah, ruled from 843 at 851 BC the Son of king Jehoshaphat. After ascension to the throne of Judea, ordered the slaughter of all his brothers and many confidants of his father.

Czech– the Polovtsian Khan, the son of the GSAC.

Kobyak– the Polovtsian Khan, 1170-1180 years repeatedly made raids on Russia, participated in the internecine wars of the Russian princes.

Constantine IX Monomakh, according to another account, X or XI (C. 1000-1055) – Byzantine the Emperor (1042-1055). Gave his daughter or another close relative for the Russian Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich.

Konstantin Vsevolodovich (1186-1218) – the son of Vsevolod the Big Nest. Prince of Novgorod (1205-1207), Rostov (1207-1216), Grand Prince of Vladimir (1216-1218).

Konchak– the Polovtsian Khan (ruled 1170–after 1203). In 1170-1180 years repeatedly made raids on Russia, participated in the internecine wars of the Russian princes.

Mstislav Mstislavich, called Udachnym, or Swashbuckling (to 1176-1228), baptism Fedor is the Prince of Tripoli (1193-1203), Toropetskiy (1206-1213), Novgorod (1210-1215, 1216-1218), Galician (1215-1216, 1219-1226), Torchesk (1203-1207, 1226-1228).

Mstislav Romanovich, called the Old (mind. 1223), in baptism Boris, the son of the Novel Rostislavich. Prince of Pskov (1179), Belgorod (1206), Smolensk (1197-1214), Grand Prince of Kiev (1214-1223).

Mstislav Svyatoslavich (d. 1240) was the son of Svyatoslav Olgovich of Rylsk. Prince Rylsky (after 1185). Killed by the Mongols.

Nursesalso Nurses, Nerses (478-573) – a commander and an influential courtier The Eastern Roman Empire under the Emperor Justinian I.

Nicholas of Myra (CA. 270–about 345) was a Bishop of Myra, in Catholicism and Orthodoxy revered as a Saint, a miracle worker.

Nikolaus von Nauen (also Nikolaus de Magdeburg) – the Bishop of Riga in 1229-1253.

Nur ad-DIN Mahmoud, al-Malik al-Adil Nur ad-DIN Abu al-Qasim Mahmud Ibn Imad ad-DIN Zangi (1116-1174) – atabeg of Aleppo c 1146, Emir Damascus from 1154.

Oleg Igorevich (1175–after 1226) was the son of Igor Svyatoslavich. Details about it are mixed with information about Oleg Svyatoslavich of Kursk, the son of Svyatoslav Olgovich of Rylsk.

Oleg Svyatoslavich (C. 1053–1115), the baptism of Michael, the son of Svyatoslav Yaroslavich. Prince Volyn (1073-1078), Tmutarakan (1083), Chernigov (1094, 1097), Novgorod-Seversky (1097-1115). In "the Word about Igor's regiment" called Gorislavich.

Oleg Svyatoslavich (1137-1180) was the son of Svyatoslav Olgovich Chernihiv, senior brother of Igor Svyatoslavich, father Svyatoslav Olgovich of Rylsk. Prince Of Putivl (1157-1159), Kursk (1159-1164), Novgorod-Seversky (1164).

Oleg Svyatoslavich (d. after 1228) was the son of Svyatoslav Olgovich of Rylsk. Prince Of Kursk (until after 1223 and 1226), Chernigov (1223-1226). Details about it are mixed with information about Oleg Igorevich, son of Igor Svyatoslavich.

The Olstin Oleksich – Chernihiv Governor.

Onfroy IV de Toron (OK 1166-1197) – Lord of Toron, Kerak, and Transjordan, vassal The Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Raymond III, count of Tripoli (CA. 1140-1187) is the count of Tripoli from 1152, the Prince of Galilee, and Diveristy since 1171.

Renaud de Chatillon (1124-1187) – a French knight, participant of the Second crusade, Prince of Antioch (1153-1160).

Richard I, nicknamed the Lion Heart (1157-1199) – Duke of Aquitaine (1189-1199), the Comte de Poitiers (1169-1189), king of England (1189-1199), Duke of Normandy (1189-1199), count of Anjou and Maine (1189-1199).

Roman Nesterovich – Kiev Governor.

Roman I.(d. 1211) was the son of Igor Svyatoslavich. Prince Of Zvenigorod (1206-1208, The 1210-1211), Galician (1208-1210).

Roman Ingvarevich (mind. 1238) – brother Gleb Igurevich. Prince of Kolomna ( 1217).

Roman Rostislavich (d. 1180) – son of Rostislav mstislavovitch. Duke Of Smolensk, Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev (1171-1173, 1174-1176).

Rostislav Mstislavich (C. 1108-1167) – the grandson of Vladimir Monomakh, the younger brother of Izyaslav Mstislavovitch. Prince of Smolensk (1127-1167), Novgorod (1154), the Grand Duke Kiev (1154-1155, 1159-1161, 1161-1167).

Rurik(d. approx. 879) – the founder of the princely dynasty of Rurik.

Ryurik Rostislavich (d. 1214) was the son of Rostislav mstislavovitch. Prince Of Novgorod (1170-1171), Ovruch (1173-1194), Grand Prince of Kiev (1173, 1181, 1194-1201, 1203-1204, 1205-1206, 1207-1210), Chernigov (1210-1214).

Salah-ad-DIN, in Russian and Western traditions – Saladin, al-Malik an-Nasir Salah ad-Dunya VA-d-DIN Abul-Muzaffar Yusuf Ibn Ayyub (1138-1193) – Sultan of Egypt, ruler of Damascus, ruler of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, The Hijaz and Yemen.

Svyatoslav (approx. 1123-1194) – the son of Vsevolod Olgovich. Prince Novgorod (1140), Turov (1142, 1154-1155), Volyn (1142-1146), Novgorod-Seversky (1157-1164), Chernigov (1164-1180), Grand Prince of Kiev (1174, 1176-1181, 1181-1194).

Svyatoslav (1196-1252) – the son of Vsevolod the Big Nest. Prince Novgorod (1200-1206, 1208-1210), Pereyaslavl (1228-1234), Suzdal (1238-1246), Yuriev-Polsky (1214-1228, 1248-1252), Grand Prince of Vladimir (1246-1248).

Svyatoslav (d. after 1232) was the son of Vsevolod Svyatoslavich. Prince Trencevski.

Svyatoslav (942-972) – Prince of Novgorod in 945-969 years, the Grand Duke of Kiev from 945 to 972 for the year.

Svyatoslav (1177-1211), the baptism of Andrew, son of Igor Svyatoslavich. Prince Volyn (1206-1208), Przemysl (The 1210-1211).

Sviatoslav II of Kiev (d. 1164) is the son of Oleg Svyatoslavich ("Gorislavich"). Prince Novgorod (1136-1138, 1139-1141, 1142-1144), Kursk (1138-1139), Starodub and Belgorod (1141-1146), Novgorod-Seversky (1146-1157), Turov (1149-1151), Chernigov (1157-1164).

Sviatoslav II Of Kiev (1167–?), in baptism Boris, the son of Oleg Svyatoslavich Novgorod-Seversky, nephew of Igor Svyatoslavich. Prince Rylsky. In 1185 he was captured by the Polovtsy, his fate is Chronicles can not be traced.

Svyatoslav Yaroslavich (1027-1076), the baptism of Nicholas, the son of Yaroslav the Wise. Prince Chernihiv, 1073 Grand Duke of Kiev.

Sibylla of Jerusalem, or of Anjou (CA. 1160-1190) – Queen of Jerusalem from 1186 year. Was married to William de Montferrat, with whom she had a son, the future king Baldwin V. After the death of William she married again for guy de Lusignan.

Tugtekin – the younger brother of Salah ad-DIN.

Poliquin von Vintershtayn (1209-1236) – second and last Grand master of the Order of the sword.

Kilbuck– the Polovtsian Khan.

Yaroslav, called the Wise (C. 978-1054), in baptism George, – the great Prince of Kiev (1016-1018, 1019-1054).

Yaroslav Vsevolodovich (1139-1198) – the son of Vsevolod Olgovich, the younger brother of Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich. Prince Of Chernigov (1179-1198).

Yaroslav Vsevolodovich (1191-1246), in baptism Feodor, the son of Vsevolod the Big Nest. Prince Pereyaslavl (1201-1206), Pereslavl-Zalessky (1212-1238), Novgorod (1215, 1221-1223, 1224-1228, 1230-1236), Grand Prince of Kiev (1236-1238, 1243-1246), Grand Prince of Vladimir (1238-1246).

Yaroslav II of Kiev (C. 1132–between 1174 and 1180), the baptism of John, the son Izyaslav mstislavovitch. Prince of Turov (1146), Novgorod (1148-1154), Lutsk (1157), the great Prince of Kiev (1173-1174 with a break).


S. V. Zagraevsky (C) 2014


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